Modesto shooting probe continues

A Modesto man shot by a police officer Christmas Eve is out of the hospital and the officer has returned to duty, a police spokesman said.

Michael Salgardo, 40, was released from Doctors Medical Center late last week, Modesto police Sgt. Brian Findlen said Tuesday.

Police believe Salgardo was under the influence of alcohol as he tried to sell what appeared to be a pellet or BB gun as a real weapon in downtown Modesto.

Officer Kalani Souza, one of two officers dispatched to J Street and McHenry Avenue, fired his weapon multiple times, striking Salgardo in the lower body.

Findlen said Salgardo has not been arrested and police continue to investigate. He said once the investigation is complete it will be sent to the district attorney's office for review and the decision will be made whether to charge Salgardo.

"There is no timeline to submit it to the district attorney's office," Findlen said. "Until that occurs, we don't want people to jump to conclusions about what the outcome will be."

Souza is a five-year law-enforcement veteran. Findlen said Souza was placed on paid administrative leave for five days before returning to duty, which Findlen said is department policy.

The Christmas Eve incident was the third officer-involved shooting by a Modesto police officer in December and the fifth in 2009.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at or 578-2316.