Police this morning are investigating the death of a 30-year-old Modesto man who died following a car crash after he was shot in west Modesto on Tuesday night.
Enrique Garcia Jr., 30, was identified as the victim, according to Sgt. Rick Armendariz, a Modesto Police Department spokesman.
While early witness reports described the shooting and subsequent crash as a possible road rage incident, Armendariz said the shooting now appears to be gang-related.
He said it hasn’t been determined yet if the victim died from gunshot injuries, or those suffered in the accident. He did say both incidents were related.
No arrests have been made.
Armendariz said before the shooting, it appears there was a conflict between the victim, the suspect and other people in the area of the shooting.
The incident occurred shortly before 8 p.m., when gunshots were heard near Locust Street and North Martin Luther King Drive.
A few minutes later, police received reports of a car that had crashed into a tree on South Madison Street, north of Maple Street and less than two blocks southeast of the reported shooting.
The dark gray compact car had crashed head-on into the tree and came to rest on the sidewalk on the east side of Madison, facing south. The car's front end sustained major damage, and one of its headlights was found about 15 feet away.
Inside the car, firefighters and Modesto police found the man with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Bullet holes were found in the car, Armendariz said.
Nearby residents said they heard gunshots coming from a few blocks northwest of the crash site, then heard the car crash into the tree.
Daniel Marsh said the incident occurred near his house. He was talking on the phone when he heard the shots, then the sound of screeching tires. He said he didn't see a thing.
"I heard about four or five shots," he said. "It was like a bang, bang, pop, pop."
Police ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to please call Detective Ra Pouv at 572-9826 or Crime Stoppers toll free at 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.
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