The young Denair man who was fatally shot earlier this month in a rural Ceres murder-suicide was an unnecessary tragedy because law enforcement did not act on his mother’s calls about her estranged boyfriend, she told ABC 10 TV.
Benjamin McGuire, 20, was fatally shot Nov. 5 at a home in the 2600 block of Redwood Road south of Ceres by Damon Banks, 51, of Merced, who then turned the gun on himself.
Stacy McGuire said her son “was an amazing kid. He had no enemy. Everybody loves Benny that knew him. He was a friend of so many people on so many levels in life.” She said Benjamin was a loving person who was protective of his family.
Even through her grief McGuire said that her son was a Christian “and I know that that gives me hope that I know where he is. I know he’s in heaven.”
McGuire told the ABC affiliate that she and Banks had been together for three years but he grew increasingly manipulative and threatened violence against her children if she tried to break it off. She also accused authorities of failing to act when she reported his threats. She told the TV station that “something needs to change, because we’re not taken serious and we’re scared, so people stay in these (dangerous) relationships.”
Prior to the shooting Banks was seen in surveillance video footage of shooting a gun at McGuire’s pickup in the night.
“I was very scared to get out of the relationship,” McGuire told ABC-10. “Every time we would break up, like every six months, and every time we would break up, he would threaten me about doing something evil to my children. My kids never did care much for him. They didn’t like the way that he treated me.”
Benjamin was born on March 5, 2002 in Modesto and graduated from Denair High School in 2020. He enjoyed roping and working with horses and found a job at Les Oswald Performance Horses in Oakdale before his murder.