Investigators have arrested a 20-year-old Modesto man accused of pistol-whipping a driver and inadvertently firing a shot that struck his friend during a suspected road rage confrontation that escalated to gunfire.
Robert Davis Jr. was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful discharge of a firearm, Ceres police announced Tuesday in a news release.
Malcolm Gray, 20, of Modesto, suffered a gunshot wound in the chest during the confrontation. Police said Gray remained hospitalized and was listed in critical but stable condition.
Shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday, the confrontation was reported as a crash with shots fired in the area of Don Pedro and Collins roads.
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Ceres police officer Ross Bays arrived at the scene and found a blue 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer being pushed to the side of the road by Dylan James, 18, of Modesto. The teenager was bleeding from his face.
Investigators learned James had just left his uncle’s nearby home, on his way to Modesto. He was heading east in the 2500 block of Don Pedro. Police said a silver sedan came around the corner from Moffett Road heading west on Don Pedro at a high speed and collided with James’ car.
James got out and confronted the silver car’s driver, later identified as Alicia Munoz, 20, of Modesto. There were three men with Munoz, including Davis and Gray, and police said those men exited the silver car and appeared to want to fight James.
James retreated to his car to look for something to defend himself with, because he felt threatened, according to Ceres police.
That’s when Davis brandished a black semi-auto pistol and exchanged words with James before firing a shot in the air. Police said Davis then hit James in the face with the pistol, breaking his nose.
As Davis hit James’s face with the pistol, the gun fired a bullet that struck Gray in the chest. Police said Gray yelled “I’m hit” and fell to the ground.
Davis and the other man riding in the silver car picked him up and carried him to the sedan. Gray was bleeding heavily, leaving behind a pool of blood in the road. Police said Munoz got back in the silver car and drove away with Gray, Davis and the other man. Their car was last seen heading south on Collins.
A short time later, Memorial Medical Center in Modesto reported a male had arrived there with a gunshot wound in the chest. Modesto and Ceres police officers went to the hospital and detained everyone involved, including Davis.
Ceres police detectives have determined the weapon used in the confrontation was a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun that investigators on Monday had not found.
Ceres police officials ask anyone with information about this violent confrontation to call Detective Bryan Ferreira at (209) 538-5616.
Rosalio Ahumada: 209-578-2394