A report of shots fired Thursday afternoon brought a swarm of law enforcement officers to the area in east Modesto where a fatal shooting had occurred the night before.
While serving a search warrant related to the homicide, a detective witnessed individuals getting out of a car and shooting at another car driving by, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves. One suspect was detained, she said, and an undetermined number of others were being sought.
The gunfire occurred near 1700 East Rumble Road. No victims could be found, Graves said at the scene late Thursday afternoon, but someone still may come forward seeking medical treatment.
The incident, which began about 2:30 p.m., happened a few blocks east of where a man was fatally shot Wednesday night. Law enforcement also conducted a search of the area earlier Thursday afternoon.
Beyer High School and Sylvan Elementary School were placed under lockdown after Thursday afternoon’s shooting, but it was lifted later in the afternoon.
Police initially launched their drone aircraft for the search until a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was brought in, Graves said. Police special units including SWAT worked the scene, and sheriff’s deputies and county probation officers assisted.
By 3:45 p.m., officers were conducting a search of houses in the area of Rumble and on nearby Tulane Drive. Graves said that although there was no evidence anyone had been struck by gunfire, they were monitoring area hospitals in case a victim showed up.
Rumors were flying and emotions ran high at parts of the perimeter, where some residents demanded to be let into the area or to have information on what was happening inside. At two intersections, two women were screaming and sobbing, apparently fearing that loved ones had been injured or worse.
One man tried to walk past the perimeter tape and the probation officers behind it, refusing to turn around and demanding to be allowed to go to his son. Probation officers forced him to the ground, handcuffed him and took him to a police vehicle. Not long afterward, he was uncuffed and returned outside the perimeter. He ended up shaking hands with a couple of probation officers.
One young man who several times said the phrase “black lives matter” told Latino probation officers at the perimeter he respected them, while he said “f--- you” to white officers. When a white female officer asked why he said that to her, he said, “Because you don’t respect me, I don’t respect you.”
A resident of Rumble Road outside the perimeter, Lamon Shears, approached probation officers to ask if they could share any information that would help ease worries.
“Everybody here knows everybody else; we’re all connected,” he said.
Probation officers told him they’d simply been called in from throughout the county, immediately sent to staff the perimeter and “in all honesty” had no word on what was happening a couple of blocks away.
Graves said law enforcement was expected to remain at the scene until at least 6:30 p.m. to clear the area of any potential suspects.
On Wednesday night, a man had been shot in the 1300 block of East Rumble, just east of Coffee Road, Modesto police reported.
The shooting occurred sometime before 10 p.m., said Lt. Rigo DeAlba.
“My understanding is there was an altercation in the front yard (of a home there). It wasn’t a drive-by,” he said.
Because detectives were busy with Thursday afternoon’s shooting, no additional information was available on the homicide.
Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward. Tipsters may also text information to Crime Stoppers at 274637; type “TIP704” along with the message.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327