Crime

Pursuit with shots fired at officers ends in fatal crash at Modesto taco truck

Scene of fatal crash at downtown Modesto taco truck

A police chase of a stolen car in Modesto, California, ended in a crash that killed two people at the Taco Vallarta food truck on Saturday. Suspects shot at officers, and ran from the scene before being arrested.
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A police chase of a stolen car in Modesto, California, ended in a crash that killed two people at the Taco Vallarta food truck on Saturday. Suspects shot at officers, and ran from the scene before being arrested.

A car chase of a stolen vehicle ended in a crash that killed two people at a Modesto taco truck early Saturday, authorities said.

The incident started at Lakewood and Briggsmore avenues at 1:45 a.m., Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear said Saturday morning.

Police spotted a stolen car at the intersection and the pursuit began, reaching speeds of 60 to 100 mph. The California Highway Patrol, Modesto Police and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department all responded. The sheriff’s helicopter monitored the chase from above.

suspects.jpg
Antonio Gazo, 22, left, of Daly City, and Rodney Quiros, 24, of San Francisco, were booked into Stanislaus County Jail on Saturday, June 15, 2019, on multiple charges including homicide and attempted homicide, tied to he crash on 14th and D streets that killed two people at a taco truck. Modesto Police Department

The suspects in the car fired several shots toward pursuing officers.

The chase went through Empire on Yosemite Boulevard into downtown Modesto to 14th and D streets, where the stolen car jumped a curb and crashed into the seating area of the Taco Vallarta taco truck, Bear said.

Two adult males jumped out of the car and fled on foot. Deputies in the helicopter “kept eyes on them” as they ran away and the men were quickly apprehended, Bear said.

Two people at the taco truck, apparently customers, were killed in the crash. No identifying information has been released.

“We could not not pursue them,” Bear said Saturday morning. “They were being so reckless they were definitely a danger to our community. Unfortunately, we were not able to protect everyone from their decisions.”

Midmorning, the two suspects were being questioned, Bear said. They had not yet been charged. They have been identified publicly only as two male adults in their early 20s from the Bay Area. Two firearms and ammunition were collected from the suspects’ vehicle.

Modesto Police Captain Brian Findlen discusses a stolen car pursuit that crashed near downtown Modesto at 14th and D streets. Two bystanders were killed when the stolen vehicle crashed into a the Taco Vallarta taco truck stand.

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs midweek and Sundays. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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