Victim, officer identified in Modesto shooting

Police this morning identified the officer and the sword-wielding man she shot early Sunday in downtown Modesto.

Officer Latisha Leap shot Richard Phillip Robles, 45, in the 900 block of K Street, near the Doubletree hotel, according to Sgt. Brian Findlen.

Leap has worked three years for the department, according to a release issued late this morning. She did not immediately return a telephone message.

Leap, 34, is a Turlock resident who previously was a deputy probation officer for Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, worked as a group supervisor at Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall and was a member of the now-defunct Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall Service League, according to county records.

Modesto Police detectives continue probing the shooting with Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office investigators. Authorities will not comment further until the investigation is complete, Findlen said, including the length of the blade, whether security cameras caught the shooting, whether anyone witnessed it or the distance between Leap and Robles.

Leap has been placed on paid administrative leave until then, following standard procedure in officer-involved shooting.

Leap shot Robles while responding to a 5:04 a.m. call of a man with a samurai sword acting “bizarre and unusual” outside the DoubleTree Hotel on K Street near Ninth Street, Sgt. Brian Findlen said Sunday. She was the first arriving officer.

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