Central Valley

2 arrested in West Modesto drive-by shooting death

Two suspects who were arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in west Modesto on the Fourth of July will be arraigned on murder, attempted murder and gang charges Tuesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court, prosecutors say.

A 26-year-old man who died and two others who were injured were among a crowd of people celebrating the holiday in the 1200 block of Figaro Avenue when shots rang out at about 9:50 p.m., according to Sgt. Brandon Kiely of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

Witnesses who called 911 described a vehicle which patrol officers spotted leaving the neighborhood. Sheriff’s deputies chased the car southbound on Highway 99 until the suspects crashed into an embankment on the off-ramp at West Main Street.

The authorities believe the suspects are Norteño gang members and referred to the victim as an innocent bystander. Kiely did not release the victim’s name because his family had not been notified.

“At this point, we don’t anticipate any other arrests,” Kiely said.

Abel Rodriguez, 26, of Ceres and Pedro Alvarez, 20, of Modesto were booked in jail early Sunday, charged with murder, attempted murder, committing a crime on behalf of a street gang and participating in a criminal street gang. Rodriguez was additionally charged with fleeing from police.

Both men are held without bail.

A criminal complaint has not yet been filed. Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley said her staff is reviewing the case and will file charges before Alvarez and Rodriguez are arraigned.

Kiely would not say how many times the victim was shot, whether anyone at the crime scene was associated with a gang or what kind of car the suspects crashed. Detective Francisco Soria said two surviving victims are hospitalized in stable condition.