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Suspect in Merced County Deputy Involved Shooting Identified

Gaby Muro

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DOS PALOS – The Merced County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspect involved in a deputy involved shooting that occurred early Sunday morning.

Authorities say a call was received from a woman stating the male suspect was inside her home trying to stab her and her three children.

That suspect was identified as 27 year old Manuel Castro from Dos Palos.

According to authorities Castro was pacing in the hallway with kitchen knives in each hand. He also had his girlfriend and three children trapped in a bedroom.

After deputies made several attempts to negotiate with Castro, he picked up a third knife, continuing threats toward his girlfriend and three children.

45 minutes after negotiating with Castro, he refused to let the children out. Authorities say after counting down from five to one, Castro walked toward a corner where his girlfriend and three kids were hiding still holding the knives.

Fearing for the safety of the woman and children, deputies shot Castro.

After the shooting police made entry into the house and were able to safely get the girlfriend and children out.

Deputies also began life saving measures on Castro but he later died at the scene.

Authorities are working to assist the woman and children with counseling and housing.

Gaby Muro is a journalist specializing in local issues and breaking news. She holds two degrees from San Joaquin Delta College. In 2018, she was considered one of the top 40 journalism students in the United States and received a scholarship to cover international conflict news near the Israeli-Syrian Border for 10 Days. Some of her work as a student has been submitted to the Student Emmy Awards. She was crowned the 2019 Miss Merced County title holder through the Miss America Organization and competed for the title of Miss California, advocating for epilepsy awareness. She has been featured on Investigation Discovery, profiling local homicide cases. Gaby is a native of Stockton, California.

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Passengers Walk Away From Plane Crash in Lodi

Gaby Muro

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Photo: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office

LODI – Two passengers of an airplane that crashed during a training flight walked away without injuries Wednesday afternoon.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office received calls to their dispatch center at about 12:30pm reporting the plane crash. The incident happened near the 16000 block of North Fox Road in Lodi.

Authorities said a Cessna 150 with two occupants took off from Lodi Wednesday morning and were headed to the Linden area for training. At about 3,000 feet the plane began experiencing mechanical issues, resulting in a hard landing.

Authorities say the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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High School Teacher Arrested

Gaby Muro

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MODESTO – A high school teacher was arrested Monday after a police investigation revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Patrick Mester was charged with annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. He was arrested by Modesto Police Special Victims Unit Detectives.

Mester was employed with the Modesto City Schools District since the 2003-2004 school year. He taught music and band at Enochs High School since the 2007-2008 school year.

Mester’s ability to visit school grounds and have contact with students was revoked by the district, authorities said.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding this case to contact Detective Garza at garzaj@modestopd.com or (209) 572-9564.

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Police Investigate Early Evening Shooting

Gaby Muro

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STOCKTON – Two victims with gunshot wounds arrived at a local hospital early Monday evening prompting an investigation.

At about 7:30pm, authorities received a report of gunfire on the 300 block of East Oak Street, between North San Joaquin and North Sutter Streets. Early indications suggest the victims arrived by private vehicle at a hospital.

Shortly before 8:00pm, a report was made of another victim arriving at a hospital.

Police responded to the area to gather evidence and investigate. No further details were available at time of publication.

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