Modesto police have released video of a car whose occupants are believed to be involved in a drive-by shooting that killed a 5-year-old boy in October. In the same Facebook post Monday morning, the Police Department asks for help in identifying suspects in a November shooting death next to Ustach Park.
The vehicle in the October shooting is described as a gray or silver early 2000s model four-door Lexus, possibly driven by a white male adult in his late teens to early 20s.
Xavier Smith, 5, and a 6-year-old boy who was wounded were among a couple of groups of people outside a home at about 9:45 p.m. Oct. 28 when gunfire erupted in the 1400 block of Lake Park Court. A relative said the boys were playing in an open garage.
Responders performed lifesaving measures on Xavier, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital. The 6-year-old's family took that boy to the hospital; his injuries were not life-threatening.
The November murder was of 21-year-old Cody Lea near Ustach Park. Detectives are trying to locate the owner and occupants of a newer black sedan, possibly a Honda, that was seen fleeing the area. Witnesses described the occupants as dark-complected.
Lea, a 2014 graduate of Enochs High School, was shot shortly before 8:40 p.m. Police were called to Hillglen Avenue just west of Bear Cub Lane and found Lea unconscious in the street. Passers-by were performing CPR on him. Emergency crews took over the lifesaving measures before Lea was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.
The MPD Facebook post says detectives believe they've determined the motives in both cases but continue to seek witnesses.
Anyone who recognizes either car or has information on either homicide is encouraged to call Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for cash reward.