A Riverbank man arrested Friday in Santa Cruz on suspicion of being the gunman in two fatal shootings in Modesto late last year will for now be booked in only one of the cases, police say.
Detectives will bring Robert Earl Davis Jr., 21, to Modesto this week, the Modesto Police Department posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon. He will be booked into the Stanislaus County Jail for the Oct. 28 killing of 5-year-old Xavier Smith on Lake Park Court, just northeast of Lakewood and Orangeburg avenues.
New information has developed since Davis' arrest that will cause detectives to hold off on booking him for the Nov. 21 shooting of Cody Lea, 21, near Ustach Park in the Village I area.
Sgt. Steve Hinkley of the MPD Violent Crimes Unit said, "Many associate an arrest of a suspect with the end of a case. For detectives, there is much more investigation remaining to ensure a successful prosecution. We have been provided a lot of information throughout this investigation and are working on the evidence to corroborate what we know thus far," according to the Facebook post. "... Detectives will continue their investigation into Davis’ involvement and will work to bring justice to Cody’s family."
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Xavier and a 6-year-old friend were shot as they played in the open garage of a home in the 1400 block of Lake Park Court. The other boy survived. The home where the two boys were playing that night was not the intended target in the shooting, police say.
Investigators have said Davis was in a vehicle driven by Ryan DeSousa, 20, of Modesto, when Davis fired a gun at several homes down that street, and the bullets hit the two boys.
Lea, a 2014 graduate of Enochs High School, was shot at about 8:40 p.m. on a Tuesday night. He was found down on the street on Hillglen Avenue just west of Bear Cub Lane.
Investigators have said they believe David Wilmore Jr., 21, of Modesto acted as Davis' accomplice in the Lea shooting but have not said what Wilmore's alleged role was.
Davis was the shooter in both killings, according to detectives, who've said both shootings were motivated by drugs.
DeSousa and Wilmore were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of murder. DeSousa faces an additional charge of attempted murder, presumably stemming from the 6-year-old boy struck by gunfire on Lake Park Court.
Both remained in no-bail custody Wednesday morning at the Stanislaus County Jail.
We'll have more on this story as information is available.