State

No shooting arrests or names of victims in Modesto shooting

Authorities made no arrests in connection with a shooting that injured four young people outside a party in Modesto's airport neighborhood Saturday night, the sheriff's office said Monday.

Victims' names are not being released out of concern for their safety, said Stanislaus County sheriff's homicide Detective Jon McQueary. One victim, a 19-year-old Modesto resident, was mistakenly thought to have died in the shooting, but he is expected to recover, McQueary said.

The other three victims are believed to be juveniles, but authorities did not know their ages.

The incident began at 11:48 p.m. when 911 callers reported shots fired outside a large party at a vacant house in the 200 block of South Santa Cruz Avenue, off Yosemite Boulevard.

More than 100 people, many of them teens, had gathered at the house. The house has served as an "unofficial party spot" for a while, McQueary said. Admission was charged to enter a large outbuilding behind the vacant house where DJs played dance music. The party grew quickly as word spread via text message, McQueary said.

An argument broke out between partygoers, witnesses told deputies, and the fight spilled onto South Santa Cruz. Someone fired a gun into the crowd, striking several people. Partygoers drove the injured to hospitals.

Modesto police officers and deputies were called to one hospital after the father of one victim created a disturbance because he wasn't allowed to see his son, McQueary said. The father is believed to be a gang member, McQueary said.

Authorities are investigating whether the shooter and victims are gang members. Many witnesses have not cooperated with investigators, McQueary said.

Several partygoers interviewed at the scene told detectives they were Norteños, McQueary said.

The shooting left "large pools of blood on the street," McQueary said. They were cleaned up by Sunday afternoon.

The shooting is the second violent incident in the airport neighborhood this month. On July 5, a man was shot in the 600 block of Thrasher Avenue, about a half-mile from Saturday's shooting. The man, a 33-year-old Modesto resident, died July 8.

In May, police completed an 11-month investigation into gang activity in the airport neighborhood. Authorities arrested 32 people, saying they hoped to improve the area. But some residents told The Bee in May that there's a long way to go before the neighborhood is rid of gangs.

Neighbors near Saturday's shooting said they knew little about the incident. "We always hear police, but we don't care no more," said a woman walking a baby in a stroller, who didn't give her name. "There's always problems here."

Saturday's shooting happened a few doors away from the offices of Modesto Airport Neighbors United, a group that's tried to improve the area. A flier on a bulletin board outside invites teens to the Modesto Gospel Mission on Friday nights. The flier promises: "No attitudes, no colors, just a safe place to kick back."

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at lalbrecht@modbee.com or 578-2378.

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