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Early morning shooting leaves Modesto man critical

A 22-year-old man was critically wounded and on life support in the aftermath of a shooting at a south Modesto taco truck early Sunday morning.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said one of the wounded man’s companions also was shot.

Deputies released this account of events:

Kevin Argueta, 22, of Modesto went to a taco truck in the 1200 block of Crows Landing Road with friends just before 2 a.m. Sunday. Several men approached Argueta and his friends and asked them what gang they belonged to.

When they said that they were not gang members, an argument ensued and one of those who accosted Argueta started shooting.

“This was a senseless act of violence,” said sheriff’s detective Frank Navarro. “It does not appear that Argueta or his friends were involved in gangs.”

Argueta was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper body. Deputies reported he was in critical condition and unable to breathe on his own.

Argueta’s unidentified companion was treated for a gunshot wound that was not considered life threatening.

Witnesses reported the assailants fled in a white sedan that was described as being similar to a Honda.

Witnesses also identified two suspects who remain at-large: Michael Pack, 20, and Jose Barajas 19, both of Modesto.

Barajas is described as a Latino male, 5 foot, 10 inches, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Detectives are still trying to identify a third man who witnesses only knew as “Nick.”All of the suspects should be considered armed and dangerous, detectives said.

“These charges will be upgraded to homicide if Argueta dies,” said Navarro. “It is very important that we find these guys and get them off the streets.” Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Navarro at 525-7086. Callers also can leave an anonymous tip by calling CrimeStoppers at 521-4636 and be eligible for a cash reward. For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Bee or