Detectives seek information about deadly shooting outside northeast Modesto bar

Police investigate shooting in east Modesto

Modesto police are investigating a shooting at or near the CR2 bar at Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019.
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Modesto police are investigating a shooting at or near the CR2 bar at Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019.

Homicide detectives on Monday were seeking information about a Sunday night shooting that killed a man after a dispute in the parking lot of a northeast Modesto bar.

The shooting was reported about 9 p.m. at the CR2 Bar and Billiards in a strip mall on the southeast corner of Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue.

Officers arrived and found the injured man with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Modesto Police Department. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on the victim at the scene. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died.

Police officials on Monday afternoon had not released the shooting victim’s name, age or city of residence. Police spokeswoman Sharon Bear said authorities were still working to notify the man’s family.

The victim and the suspected shooter had been inside the bar before the shooting. Bear has said there was later a dispute in the parking lot, and as the suspect drove away, a single shot was fired and struck the victim.

She said there was no suspect information available Monday afternoon, including descriptions of the shooter and the vehicle he was in when the gunfire erupted.

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A man died Sunday night February 17, 2019, after he was shot in the parking lot of the CR2 Bar and Billiards in the 3400 block of Oakdale road in Modesto, California. The exterior of the business is pictured Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Rosalio Ahumada

Bar’s owner speaks out

The CR2 has been open for about a year and a half, owner Les Knoll said in a telephone interview Monday. Knoll, who was not at the bar when the shooting occurred, said he had not received many details about what happened.

“We work really hard to keep it a safe place,” Knoll said. “It’s just a shame that something like this had to happen.”

He said the bar has security guards, and they had just arrived at CR2 to start their regular shift about 9 p.m. shortly after the shooting had occurred. The bar’s listed operating hours are every day from 3 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Modesto police are investigating a shooting in east Modesto, California, on Sunday night. The incident occurred at or near the CR2 bar. It sits to the south of the Stop n’ Save Liquor & Groceries.

Knoll told The Bee that the bar has experienced a fight or two since it opened, but never a dispute that escalated to gunfire.

“It’s been a pretty peaceful place,” Knoll said.

One of the windows near the bar’s front door was cracked after someone threw an object at it a few weeks ago, Knoll said. The window remained cracked and held together by duct tape and caution tape before Sunday night’s shooting occurred.

Knoll was once the owner of downtown Modesto hot spot the Copper Rhino. He opened the CR2 in August 2017, naming the new bar to pay homage to the downtown original.

CR2 offers patrons four pool tables, air hockey, ping pong, foosball, pinball machines, arcade games and interactive dartboards. Knoll said the bar was planning on opening for business as usual Monday, its karaoke night.

Sunday night’s shooting was the third deadly incident in that property’s parking lot since late 2016.

The CR2 Bar was once home to the Shadow Lounge. There was a fatal stabbing in the parking lot in November 2016 after a fight began in the bar. One man died, and two others were injured.

A year ago, a body was discovered in a burning car in the parking lot. Authorities later ruled that death a suicide, determining there was no “outside involvement” in the incident.

Investigators asked anyone with information about Sunday night’s shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Tipsters can send an e-mail through the Crime Stoppers website, Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.