MAN SHOT IN CHEST: A 19-year-old man was in the hospital in fair condition Wednesday after being shot in the chest during a drive-by shooting in broad daylight Tuesday in downtown Manteca. Police are investigating the shooting and said that while drive-by shootings have become more common, one in which someone is hit is unusual. It happened two blocks from the public library. Investigators believe the shooting was gang related, Manteca police Capt. Dave Bricker said. Police don't have a suspect. Ronnie Reynoso was standing in the carport of the fourplex where he was staying on the 500 block of West Center Street about 1:20 p.m. Tuesday when a dark, four-door car, possibly a Honda, drove up and a passenger fired between four and six shots out the window, Bricker said. One bullet hit Reynoso in the upper chest, Bricker said. Another bullet hit a parked car, he said. Nobody else was hurt although people were inside all four apartments, including small children, he said. As police investigated, Bricker said, suspected gang members who are friends of the victim showed up and began interfering. An officer was assaulted in the process, and Bricker said the three, all 17, were arrested on suspicion of interfering with police and assaulting an officer. They were later released to their parents.
BURN VICTIM STILL CRITICAL: A woman pulled from a fiery weekend crash in Modesto remains in critical condition at the University of California at Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where she is being treated for burns. Lindsey Bowers, 23, of Modesto was driving east on Mount Vernon around 12:30 a.m. Saturday when her car crashed into a tree near Tully Road, police officer Michael Amarillas said Wednesday. The car caught fire with Bowers trapped inside. A man who lives nearby tried to douse the flames with his garden hose while another person sprayed the car with a fire extinguisher, Amarillas said. Firefighters put out the fire, then pried the car open to remove Bowers. She was treated at a hospital before being taken to the burn unit at UC Davis Medical Center, he said.
NEW PUBLIC DEFENDER IN MERCED: Michael Pro has been appointed as Merced County's public defender. Pro, 58, will replace Wayne Eisenhart, who will retire in July. Pro was appointed by the county Board of Supervisors. He is the county's chief deputy public defender. Pro started his career with the public defender's office in 1979, when he was hired as a deputy public defender. At that time, there were six attorneys in the office, compared with the 16 who work there now. The native of Richmond graduated from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and passed the state bar exam in 1978.
POLICE ACADEMY GRADUATION: Forty-eight law enforcement students of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Regional Training Center will graduate Friday, according to the Sheriff's Department. The graduation ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at Shelter Cove Community Church at 4242 Coffee Road in Modesto. Twenty-seven graduates have jobs lined up at law enforcement agencies, including the Stanislaus County, Tuolumne County, Calaveras County and San Joaquin County sheriff's departments along with Stockton police and Manteca police. According to the training center, 26 students were unable to complete the 24-week program. The next class at the training center will begin April 7 with 64 cadets. For more information about the regional training center, call 525-4701 or visit www.stanislaussheriff.com or www.sheriffstraining.org.