EMPIRE — One teenager died and another was injured in a shooting late Monday after a group of men approached them and asked if they were affiliated with a gang, a Stanislaus County sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.
Deputy Royjindar Singh said Gustavo Orosco, 19, of Manteca was taken by an ambulance to a Modesto hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
He said a 19-year-old Riverbank man was still at a hospital, where he was being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. Sheriff's officials did not release his name, citing safety concerns.
Detectives were seeking witnesses Tuesday and did not have descriptions of the suspects, nor did they know how many people were involved.
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The shooting occurred about 10:50 p.m. at El Primo's Mariscos taco truck in the 4900 block of Yosemite Boulevard, in front of El Primo's Nightclub.
Angel Aceves owns the nightclub and the taco truck. He said the nightclub is closed Monday nights; the taco truck stays open until 1 a.m. every day.
Aceves said the suspects, a group of men, were waiting for their food when the victims arrived in a car. He said the passenger got out and started to place an order when the confrontation began.
The suspects asked the men if they were affiliated with a gang, in a threatening manner that scared the men, Singh said.
The men tried to leave, Singh said, but the suspects fired shots at them. The suspects fled the scene; it was unclear whether a vehicle was used to get away, Singh said.
He said it does not appear that the victims, who had been at the taco truck several times before, were associated with a gang.
Investigators believe the suspects were associated with a gang, but Singh said detectives declined to say which one.
Aceves was at his Ceres home when the shooting occurred, and he said his employees inside the taco truck ducked for cover when the shots rang out.
"They just did what anyone else would do in that situation: try not to get shot," Aceves said in Spanish on Tuesday. "It just seems so brazen to me that they would just fire on these people like that. I've owned this place for 10 years, and I have never seen anything like that before."
Singh said several carloads of witnesses fled the scene. Detectives hope those witnesses come forward with information about the shooting.
Sheriff's officials ask anyone with information about this shooting to call Detective Jon McQueary at 527-7099 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2394.