State

Second man in custody in Modesto 'baby stroller' shooting

Detectives have arrested two men in connection with a brazen drive-by shooting that seriously injured a man as he walked with his girlfriend and pushed their baby son in a stroller in Modesto's La Loma neighborhood.

Travis Lee Stephenson, 19, of Modesto was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and using a firearm to commit a felony. Stephenson was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail, where he was being held Tuesday. His bail was set at $775,000.

On Tuesday evening, Michael Calhoun, 39, of Modesto turned himself in to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, police spokesman Sgt. Brian Findlen said.

Calhoun reportedly was told by a friend that police were looking for him in connection with the shooting after a story about the crime appeared on television. He turned himself in about 8:30 p.m. Findlen called him a "person of interest."

Findlen said detectives believe Stephenson fired shots at the victim from a silver Honda seen leaving the scene.

Police have not said what role they believe Calhoun played in the shooting.

"We need to speak to him to determine what level of involvement he had in this crime," Findlen said Tuesday afternoon.

Police would not release details about a possible motive for the attack, but Findlen said there was no sign the shooting was gang-related.

Authorities found Stephenson about 9:30 p.m. Monday at a South Avenue home in Delhi.

The 33-year-old man injured in the shooting was taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital, where he had surgery. Findlen said the man was listed in serious condition Tuesday afternoon, but he was improving and expected to survive.

Authorities did not release the victim's name or that of the hospital to ensure his safety.

The baby and his mother were not injured.

About 5 p.m. Monday, police stopped a silver Honda near 10th and I streets in downtown Modesto. Findlen said several people were detained and questioned, but no arrests were made. Detectives said they did not believe this Honda was the car used in the shooting.

Police said they then learned that Stephenson was hiding at a home in the 14000 block of South Avenue in Delhi.

Detectives took Stephenson into custody with help from the Modesto Police street crimes unit and the Merced County sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics team.

The shooting occurred about 11:15 a.m. Monday near La Loma and Santa Rosa avenues. Detectives believe Stephenson recognized the father, slowed his car and fired several shots at the victim, Findlen said.

Findlen said several bullets struck the man in the upper body. At least one bullet pierced the stroller.

Findlen said detectives do not believe the shooting was a random act. The victim and the attacker had at least one previous encounter, Findlen said.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to call the Modesto Police Department at 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" and a 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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