Modesto police search for motive in weekend homicide

A 39-year-old man was shot and killed in his northeast Modesto home early Saturday, according to Modesto police.

Officers were called to the house in the 2900 block of Lincoln Oak Drive, just south of Ustach Middle School, at 4:48 a.m., according to Sgt. Brian Findlen. When they arrived, they found Karl Johnson, who had been shot. He died after being taken to a Modesto hospital.

Family members said Johnson lived with his wife in the home, part of a subdivision lined with two-story homes, some of which are still under construction.

A black, two-door Ford Explorer with an Oakland Raiders emblem in the back window sat in the driveway. A small tree, rose bushes and bark border the lawn in the front yard. A wrought-iron patio table and chairs sat by the front step next to a couple of pairs of sneakers.

A woman delivering food to the house said she didn't want to talk to the media until all family members knew of Johnson's death.

The investigation is continuing. Saturday night, Findlen said there was no known motive. He alluded to a suspect, but said police were not ready to release any suspect description.

Neighbors said Saturday afternoon that they did not see or hear anything early Saturday morning. Though they had never met Johnson, the neighbors said he seemed nice and always waved or said hello whenever he saw them.

Johnson's killing is Modesto's 11th homicide this year and second in a week. Alejandro Rangel, 27, of Modesto was shot early last Sunday in a neighborhood off Yosemite Boulevard in southeast Modesto. He died in the hospital two days later.

Police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 521-4636, e-mail tips via, or text them to 274637 (CRIMES) by typing "Tip704" plus the message. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.