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Family Seeks Justice in Strawberry Fields Park Murder

Gaby Muro

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CERES – A 17 year old boy was charged in the January murder of Miguel Angel Peña of Ceres, who was shot at Strawberry Fields Park and died days later at a hospital.

“I have questions of why,” Fabiola said. Her family could not make any sense of why anyone would do something like this to her brother Sebastián as he was known by his loved ones.

“I think we were full of frustration,” she added. “We have no answers and we wanted to know what was going on.”

Sebastián’s loss is a further blow to her family since the loss of her mother Lupita, who passed away only a couple months prior from cancer. The loss of both of their loved ones have left her relatives in deep depression and uncontrollable anxiety.

“He didn’t just hurt someone,” Fabiola said of the accused. “He hurt a whole family, friends and others.”

Fabiola described her brother as hard working and family oriented. Often working throughout the day with her father or brother. Together they worked in landscaping yards, power washing, or construction jobs.

“What I’m going to miss the most is his caringness,” Fabiola said of her brother. “He always did more for everyone else than he did for himself, and he would always put other people before himself.”

Fabiola said her family has found peace in the thought that her brother and mother are together, and that her family is now focusing on finding justice for Sebastián. They understand the road is long with an expected court case, and are looking forward to being advocates for her brother.

“Me and my other four siblings will speak on behalf of Sebastián, and make sure he gets the justice that he deserves.”

Asuzena Peña, another of Sebastián’s sisters, added that they are glad the suspect turned himself in, but are looking forward to justice being served.

She said her family won’t be satisfied and won’t rest “Until he is trialed and imprisoned for life.” They don’t want another killing they described as ruthless and without thinking.

One day at a time, one step at a time is how the Peña family describes how they will proceed. Through family and through their faith.

“God’s timing is perfect,” Fabiola explained. “It was about to be three months since this happened, and we got a sign. Hopefully this helps, and everything moves faster.”

The arrest happened Wednesday, according to a press release by the Ceres Police Department. The suspect, who according to authorities turned himself in, was booked into Juvenile Hall and faces charges including murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery.

Because he is only 17, the suspect’s identity was not released. Police did say he was from Modesto, however and that the investigation is ongoing.

The shooting originally occurred on January 11th near the area of Malik Avenue and Hackett Road. Sebastián was struck by gunfire along with another passenger he was with in a vehicle. The bullets were fired from a passing car, and struck several neighboring homes. A second round of gunshots were fired as the vehicle drove off. The incident was captured on several home surveillance cameras.

Sebastián was taken home and dropped off by those he was with. He was found by his loved ones, suffering from his injuries in the front yard. Police and medics responded and he was taken to a hospital where he fought for his life, but he died a few days later.

The incident has left Sebastián’s family shattered, a feeling that his sister Fabiola described Thursday afternoon after receiving word that someone was finally being held accountable.

Sebastián was 18 when his life was taken. He is survived by his father Javier, and siblings Javier Jr, Goretty, Jonathan, Asuzena and Fabiola.

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Car Wash Fundraiser Planned for Shooting Victim

Carlos Rodriguez

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MODESTO – A car wash fundraiser benefitting Evan Robinson, the teen who was shot and killed over the weekend near a taco truck in Keyes, was planned for Saturday.

The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00am at Stanislaus Towing at 1307 Angie Avenue.

Robinson, 16, was shot during a fight near Seventh Street and Martha Avenue in Keyes. Emergency personnel attempted to save his life, but he did not survive his injuries. Investigators believe he was an unintended victim.

No suspect information was released in the case. Authorities are asking for witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Deputy, Hostage Wounded in Shooting With Suspect

Carlos Rodriguez

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SAN ANDREAS – An elderly woman and a deputy were injured during a hostage situation that left the suspect dead Thursday night in Calaveras County.

At about 10:39pm dispatchers received a 911 call regarding an argument between a man and a woman at the Sierra Inn Motel. The caller reported the man had pointed a gun at the woman’s head. Deputies with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office responded to investigate, but the suspect had left the area before they arrived.

Deputies began searching the area for the suspect, treating the case as a domestic violence incident. As a deputy interviewed the victim at an apartment complex, the suspect ambushed the deputy and victim opening fire and wounding the deputy. The deputy was able to get the victim to safety.

Additional deputies, CHP officers and Angels Camp Police responded to the scene and began searching the apartment complex. The suspect emerged from an apartment holding an elderly woman hostage with a gun. Authorities believe the hostage was unrelated to the initial incident.

Authorities tried to reason with the man and get him to release the hostage, but their efforts did not work. As the suspect posed a threat to the hostage, authorities opened fire. Both the suspect and hostage were wounded during the shooting. The suspect died at the scene, the hostage was transported by air ambulance to a regional trauma center for care.

The ambushed deputy was airlifted as well. Both he and the hostage were expected to survive.

The incident is under investigation by multiple agencies. No further details were released Friday afternoon.

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Shooting Kills Teen After Fight in Keyes

Carlos Rodriguez

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KEYES – A shooting during a fight claimed the life of a teen Sunday night.

Shortly after 8:45pm Sunday, authorities responded to a report of a shooting near the intersection of Seventh Street and Martha Avenue. Deputies arrived and found an unresponsive teen who had been shot multiple times in the roadway. Life saving measures were performed, however the victim died at the scene.

Witnesses said a fight broke out while people were eating at a taco truck and shots were fired. Investigators believe that the victim may have been an unintended victim hit by gunfire. A silver car was seen leaving the area and believed to be involved in the homicide.

Detectives responded to investigate the case. Much of the intersection and surrounding streets were closed off as a crime scene for the investigation. Persons of interest were identified, but investigators need more witnesses to come forward to name a suspect.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Hickman at (209) 525-7042, or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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