State

10-year-old Modesto shooting victim brain dead

The 10-year-old boy shot Tuesday night is brain dead, authorities say.

The child is being kept alive by life support equipment, said Deputy District Attorney Tom Brennan.

The boy was shot in the head about 11:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Santa Barbara Avenue. A 29-year-old Modesto man was killed in the shooting.

Police have made no arrests, said Detective Darren Ruskamp. Witnesses said two shooters drove up to the house, sprayed the home with gunfire, then drove away.

The boy’s father, Epifanio Ramirez, lost a finger in the shooting. He was airlifted to a Bay Area hospital, then arrested after surgery to amputate the finger.

Ramirez is being transferred today to the Fresno County jail on federal weapons charges. Ramirez, who had custody of the 10-year-old boy, was a gun-toting drug dealer with a criminal history dating back 15 years, said Brennan.

Ramirez had been to prison three times on drug convictions.

Last month, a probation search turned up a loaded .357 Magnum, a loaded sawed-off shotgun, a loaded sawed-off rifle and several rounds of ammunition at Ramirez’s Santa Barbara Avenue house.

The 10-year-old boy wasn’t the only child who lived at the house, said Brennan. He said he did not know how many other children lived there or how old they are.

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

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