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Debbie Lane Shooting Victim Remembered as Friend to All, Family Man



MODESTO – Michael Sullivan, or “Big Jesse” as he was affectionately known by those close to him, was a friend to all.

That’s how many of his friends wanted him remembered as they gathered near his home on Debbie Lane Sunday trying to make sense of what happened to him.

Big Jesse’s life was taken during a shooting shortly after 2:00pm. The accused shooter was a neighbor.

But the end of his life was not how those gathered Sunday wanted him to be remembered.

Tracy Burkhart only met him six months ago, but knowing Big Jesse felt like having a lifelong best friend. Just like everyone at the scene Sunday, the two hit it off and became close.

“We just had a tri-tip dinner at his home last night,” Burkhart said. Together the two talked about their families and interests. They worked on vehicles together, and recently made a funny TikTok video of themselves as they pushed a Chevy Tahoe down the road because of the high gas prices.

The Tahoe, according to those watching Sunday’s events unfold, was a key to why their friend’s life was taken.

“Over a damn license plate,” said David Rivera.

Rivera explained that Big Jesse had recently purchased the Tahoe from his neighbor for $800. The vehicle was in a state of disrepair.

“So he bought a replacement motor for it,” Rivera said. “There were nuts and bolts all over his garage, but in the end, they were all put back in place.”

Rivera explained that Big Jesse had experience working on motorcycles. The Chevy Tahoe would have been a new challenge.

“For him to do the work he did, and get that vehicle running, that’s pure talent.”

A talent that Rivera lamented is now as irreplaceable as the man himself. He knew Big Jesse for the last three years.

“Jess was a smart guy and a fast learner. He was friendly and accepting, and we knew mutual people, so getting to know him felt right.”

He loved his three kids and was looking forward to spending the summer with them and go camping. Events and memories that Tracy Burkhart would have liked to experience beyond the six months he knew him.

“Now, I feel like I didn’t get enough time to value the friendship he gave to me,” Burkhart said.

Both Burkhart and Rivera vowed to offer their help to their friend’s family, in honor of the friendship he showed to them.

“I don’t care how long it takes tonight,” Rivera said while observing the investigation. “The last thing I want to do is close the garage door to his home for him.”

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Police Shooting Investigated in West Modesto



MODESTO – An officer involved shooting closed down a shopping center near a busy intersection early Tuesday morning.

The incident happened shortly before 1:00am near the intersection of South Martin Luther King Drive and Paradise Road. A police press release stated the shooting occurred when police encountered an armed person during a traffic stop. The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound and was expected to survive. A firearm was recovered at the scene, and no officers were injured.

South Martin Luther King Drive was closed to traffic near the area where the shooting happened. The shooting appeared to have happened in a parking lot just east of the roadway near a Jack in the Box restaurant. A white car was examined by investigators in the parking lot, with police cars behind it.

The area was cleared and re-opened shortly before 9:00am.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Modesto Police or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Woman Stabbed, Knife Wielding Man Shot by Police



STOCKTON – Authorities with Stockton Police conducted an investigation Sunday night following a stabbing and officer involved shooting.

At about 8:00pm police officers responded to the 1600 block of East Bianchi Road for a report of a disturbance involving a man armed with a knife. Arriving officers located the suspect, and moments later shots were fired by police.

A woman was also found suffering from at least one stab wound. Both the victim and suspect were taken to a hospital for treatment. As of Sunday night their conditions were unknown. No other injuries were reported.

The area was closed off by police for several hours for the investigation. No further details were released at time of publication.

This was the second officer involved shooting over the weekend in Stockton. On Saturday morning, police responded to an apartment complex on 11th Street for a report of a man who threatened to stab a woman. That suspect was shot. The woman suffered multiple stab wounds. Both were taken to a hospital. Several children in the apartment were unharmed.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Police Shoot Man Who Threatened to Stab Woman



STOCKTON – Two people were rushed to a hospital Saturday morning following a violent confrontation.

At about 9:00am police officers were called to an apartment complex on the 1500 block of East 11th Street. Early indications suggest officers were responding to a report of a man armed with a knife.

The person calling for help was a child of the man and woman involved, and said their dad was threatening to stab their mom. Arriving officers located the suspect and a shooting occurred. The involved woman was also found with stab wounds. Both were transported to a hospital with injuries and as of this publication, their conditions were unknown.

Residents in the area were shocked at the incident. One man who declined to provide his name and lived across the street said that the neighborhood and apartment complex is relatively calm, and that most people who lived around him are respectful of each other. He was taking a shower and heard three or four gunshots, and a large amount of sirens shortly after. The incident came as a surprise and felt very out of place to him.

Other residents who lived a block to the east said they heard the commotion. One woman said she heard shouting for someone to get on the ground along with three or four gunshots.

Kya Lewis lives across the street and said her and her neighbors watched the incident unfold from their apartment windows. She said she saw officers arrive and rush to the apartment in question followed by gunshots shortly after.

A video Lewis provided showed the aftermath shortly after the shooting occurred. Two officers tended to a man and woman on the front doorstep of the apartment. Both appeared to be significantly bleeding. A second video recording shows both persons being wheeled away by paramedics, while officers spoke with witnesses.

Several neighbors expressed concern for the children in the apartment noting several lived there.

Police taped off the entire block of the complex, and closed roadways leading up to the area.

No further details were released Saturday afternoon.

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