Young Modesto shooting victim's service is today

Detectives said Thursday that they are following leads in the investigation into a triple shooting last week that killed two people in Modesto's La Loma neighborhood. But they have made no arrests.

Family members of the 10-year-old boy killed in the July 28 shooting have planned a memorial service today for him. Epifanio Ramirez, who also was known as "E.J.," was shot in the head in the living room of his home in the 100 block of Santa Barbara Avenue in Modesto.

The 11:30 p.m. shooting also killed Jason Cyphers, 29, and injured the boy's father, 34-year-old Epifanio Ramirez. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Ramirez, who has a history of weapons and drug offenses, on a federal no-bail warrant and booked him at San Francisco County Jail.

The boy's father petitioned federal authorities to allow him to attend his son's memorial service in Modesto, but the request was denied, according to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.

Modesto police spokesman Sgt. Brian Findlen said investigators were chasing down tips as they try to track down those involved.

"We have received several credible leads, and we are following up on those leads at this time," Findlen said. He would not comment further, citing concerns of harming the investigation.

Investigators have said they believe the shooting was gang-related. Witnesses said two men drove up to the house, got out of the car, opened fire, then drove off.

Cyphers was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police said the boy had been on life support since the shooting before he died July 31.

The boy is survived by his mother, April Ramos, and siblings Christina, Michael, Destiny and Leonard, according to an obituary published in The Bee on Thursday.

Today's service is at 11:30 a.m. at the United Pentecostal Church Revival Center at Seventh and I streets in downtown Modesto.

Police ask anyone with information about this shooting to call the Modesto Police Department at 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tips can be e-mailed through, or texted to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus 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 or 578-2394.

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