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Suspects in fatal shooting nabbed in Turlock

POSTED July 8, 2009 12:05 a.m.

Two men suspected of killing one man and injuring two others during a Fourth of July party were apprehended Saturday night when they lost control of their car and crashed into a freeway on-ramp in Turlock.


The two men were being pursued by Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies in connection to a West Modesto shooting that killed a 26-year-old man, said Undersheriff William Heyne.


The suspects, Abel Rodriguez, 26, of Ceres and Pedro Alvarez, 20, of Modesto were booked into Stanislaus County Jail on charges of murder, attempted murder, committing a crime on behalf of a street gang and participating in a criminal street gang. Rodriguez had an additional charge of evading a peace officer.


Both men are suspected Norteno gang members and are being held without bail.


The name of the 26-year-old victim has not been released because the sheriff’s department is still trying to locate his family, who live out of country, Heyne said.


The shooting occurred about 9:50 p.m. Saturday in the 1200 block of Figaro Avenue, where a large group of people had gathered for a Fourth of July party.


As the partygoers were celebrating, a black Charger drove up and fired several rounds into the crowd. The 26-year-old was struck multiple times, Heyne said.


Two other individuals, a 21-year-old Hispanic man and a 16-year-old Hispanic youth were also struck during the shooting. Both were taken to local hospitals and were in stable condition at last report.


Witnesses to the shooting called 911 and described the Charger seen leaving the area, which moments later was spotted by deputies patrolling the area.


The vehicle sped off towards Highway 99 with deputies chasing after it. The pursuit reached speeds of 120 mph on the highway, Heyne said.
The Charger left the highway at the West Main Street exit. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it slid across the intersection up unto the on-ramp where it crashed into the shrubbery, said Turlock Police Lt. Ron Reid.


The suspects, neither one of which were injured in the crash, were taken into custody at gunpoint.
The motive behind the shooting is unknown.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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