State

Man, 19, arrested in fatal shooting

Stanislaus County sheriff's detectives Friday arrested a 19-year-old man in a May 3 shooting in south Modesto that killed one man and injured another, a department spokesman said.

Deputy Royjindar Singh said detectives arrested Matthew Reyes, 19, of Modesto on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. Reyes was being held Friday night at the Stanislaus County Jail without bail.

Singh said Gregory Thornhill Wallace, 24, of Modesto was shot and found unconscious in his pickup, which caught fire as deputies approached. The fire was the result of a mechanical problem. Two deputies pulled Wallace out of the pickup.

Wallace died three days later at a Modesto hospital after he was taken off life support.

"I am relieved that they have arrested somebody in the case," said Wallace's mother, Esther, on Friday evening. "I just think there are more out there who were involved."

A second victim, a 21-year-old Modesto man, has been released from a hospital. Sheriff's officials did not release his name to ensure his safety.

Singh said Reyes was arrested Friday afternoon when he appeared for a hearing at Stanislaus County Superior Court in another case.

He said detectives declined to say how the shooting occurred or whether others might be involved because it could harm the investigation, as they still are seeking witnesses.

Detectives are "fairly sure" the shooting was gang- related, Singh said. He would not say what led to that conclusion.

Wallace said her son was not in a gang and was the victim of stray gunfire.

Wallace was a mechanic and a member of the Forgotten Souls Truck Club, whose members own customized trucks, his mother said. He had a 2-year-old daughter who lives with her mother. He lived with his parents in south Modesto, not far from the site of the shooting.

Several hours before the shooting, Wallace and his fellow club members were cruising on McHenry Avenue in Modesto to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo weekend, his friends said. Club members were not involved in any fights before they decided to head home, they said.

Wallace said her son was on his way home when the shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. She said her son was driving alone in his pickup near Pecos and Alamo avenues when he was hit by stray gunfire.

She said investigators told her the target was the 21-year-old man, who was crossing the street when he was shot.

Singh would not confirm that version of events.

Sheriff's officials ask anyone with information about this shooting to call Detective Ken Hedrick at 525-7083 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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