Liquor store clerk shoots, kills suspect in robbery

MODESTO — An armed Modesto liquor store clerk shot and killed a suspect in an attempted robbery late Friday night.

Officers from the Modesto Police Department arrived at Super Liquor, 1600 Tully Road, at 10:40 p.m. Friday night in response to an attempted robbery call.

They found 20-year-old Modesto resident Kyle Johnson shot and wounded inside the store. Johnson was taken to a hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.

A second suspect, a 17-year-old male whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, fled the scene but was caught by police Saturday afternoon.

Police did not identify the store clerk who shot Johnson. No charges are expected to be filed against the clerk.

Officer Scott Nelson said the two armed and masked suspects entered the store shortly before closing. Johnson was shot during the robbery attempt and the second suspect escaped after a brief struggle with another store clerk.

The 17-year-old was booked at Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall on charges of homicide and attempted robbery.

Nelson said under the state's felony murder rule, suspects involved in certain felonies such as robbery can be charged with murder if a homicide occurs during the course of the crime, regardless of whether they were responsible for the death.

Super Liquor was open again Saturday morning after a brief delay because of the police investigation.

Store clerk Chaz Singh, who was not working Friday night, said the last robbery attempt at the liquor store was in 2006. He did not know details about the shooting, and the store owner could not be reached for comment.

Detectives ask anyone who may have seen any suspicious person or vehicles in the area during the time of the incident to call the Modesto Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.

Tipsters also can e-mail through the Crime Stoppers Web site,, or text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type "TIP704" along with a message.

Anyone with information regarding this incident may also contact Detective Munoz at 572-9600, ext. 29131.

Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at or 578-2284.