State - INACTIVE

Man sought in deadly Modesto shooting

Gang investigators have arrested one man and were looking for a second in connection with the shooting death of a 19-year-old man last year at an east Modesto intersection, a police spokesman said Tuesday.

Barkho Slefo of Modesto was shot to death April 13, 2009, at Japonica Way and Lincoln Avenue, just north of Yosemite Boulevard in Modesto.

After almost a year investigating the death, detectives identified Jose Nunez, 22, of Modesto as a suspect, Sgt. Rick Armendariz said.

On March 2, Modesto police arrested Nunez on suspicion of murder. He was being held Tuesday night at the Stanislaus County Jail, with his bail set at $2 million.

His arrest led detectives to identify a second suspect, Jose Francisco Legaspi Jr., 20, of Modesto, Armendariz said. Detectives followed up on leads but have not found Legaspi.

Police described Legaspi as 6 feet tall, 300 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Investigators did not know whether Legaspi has left the Modesto area.

The shooting last year occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Officers responded to reports of shots fired and found Slefo inside a car at Japonica and Lincoln.

Police think Slefo was with his 17-year-old girlfriend when the shots were fired, but she was not injured. Investigators believe the shooting was gang-related.

A day after the shooting, a nearby resident told The Bee that she had heard people shouting the gang slang words "norte" and "scrap" just before she heard five gunshots.

"Norte" refers to the Norteños street gang, and "scrap" is a derogatory term for members of the rival gang, the Sureños.

Police ask anyone with information about Legaspi's whereabouts to call Detective Phil Owen at 572-9589 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers

Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" and a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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