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Fundraiser Established for Semple Street Shooting Victim

Gaby Muro

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Photo: Family/GoFundMe

MODESTO – Family of one of the victims of Friday’s shooting on Semple Street held a vigil over the weekend and established a fundraiser for the unexpected funeral costs.

Friends and relatives gathered in front of the home late Saturday afternoon with candles and flowers to honor the victims who were gunned down in front of a home Friday night. Brandon Wheeler was identified as one of the victims who lost his life.

“Brandon was a loved son, brother and dad,” the organizer of the fundraiser said. “He leaves behind his three kids and family and friends who all loved him dearly. He truly was an amazing man, he would give the shirt off of his back and the shoes off his feet. I could name several times he came home barefoot for this exact reason.”

The shooting happened on Semple Street just north of Jones Street Friday night shortly before 9:00pm. Three people were reported shot in front of the home. Police and medics arrived quickly to provide care for the injured. They were rushed to a hospital where Brandon and another victim passed away. The third victim is expected to survive.

Officials with the Modesto Police Department say detectives have been working hard on the case to find the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting. Authorities are encouraging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

Anyone interested in donating to Brandon Wheeler’s fundraiser can do so by clicking on the link here.

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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