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Afghan Refugee Thankful For Help From Police



TURLOCK – Samir Shirzad fled Kabul the day before it fell to the Taliban.

The city was his home for the last four years where he lived with his sisters and parents. Prior to that they lived in a northern province of Afghanistan until it became unsafe.

As the Taliban began to occupy his home, Samir took the opportunity to flee while he could, with the promise of supporting his family from abroad.

“Inshallah,” Samir said, which means “God willing.”

Through an organization called International Rescue Committee, Samir was able to flee Kabul and come to the United States. Within a couple of days, he was in Turlock hoping to find work.

“Tomorrow I have an appointment with my caseworker to apply for everything I need to work.”

Samir worked as an interpreter in Afghanistan. His English is very good, so he was able to quickly find jobs in logistics and construction. Often times he worked between US Military and their Afghan counterparts translating through various projects. Both of his parents are teachers. His father taught for 20 years, and his mother teaches at a local college.

With the Taliban takeover, some essential services have been cut off. Since he fled Kabul, Taliban fighters had gone to his father’s house looking for him, Samir said. His father told them Samir was dead and to leave the family alone.

“They only have about a week supply of food left,” Samir said. His need to find work is urgent to him.

“It is my wish to work. I would like to be a guard, or a driver, anything.”

Monday, Samir found himself at Donnelly Park enjoying the afternoon. He was approached by a man who had asked to borrow his cell phone to make a phone call. Samir agreed, but the man took the phone and ran.

Samir was able to call for help, and police responded within a few minutes. At around the same time, officers were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle that was taken from a cafe on Geer Road. The suspect who took Samir’s phone was sitting in the stolen vehicle.

The suspect fled as officers approached, but he was quickly apprehended. An ambulance was called for the man as he showed indications of being under the influence of a substance.

“He was acting very strangely,” Samir said. “He moved and waved his arms like something was wrong.”

Police were able to return the owner of the car to his stolen vehicle. Samir was very pleased with the response of the officers.

“In my country, maybe I would have seen my phone in ten days. Here, in ten minutes.”

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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