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Fundraiser Established for Semple Street Shooting Victim

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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.

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Teen Suffers Head Wound in Highway Shooting, Suspects Arrested

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STOCKTON – Investigators with the California Highway Patrol arrested a man suspected of being involved in a shooting that wounded a teen Monday afternoon.

The incident happened shortly after 3:00pm near the area of Highway 99 and Kettleman Lane in Lodi. According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of a Nissan Altima fired a gun several times at the victim vehicle, striking a teenage passenger in the head. The driver of the victim vehicle drove the teen to Lodi Memorial Hospital for care. Valley Division CHP Investigators responded to work the case.

Moses Mercado, a 21 year old resident of Lodi, was identified as a suspect during the course of the investigation. Investigators located and arrested Mercado after a brief pursuit in South Stockton that ended on South California near Worth Street. A passenger of the Nissan Altima, 21 year old Bella Villanueva of Ripon, was also arrested. Villanueva faces charges of aiding and abetting, conspiracy, and concealing evidence.

Mercado was charged with attempted murder, carrying a loaded firearm with a previous felony conviction, being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime, being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, and shooting at an inhabited vehicle. He is in custody without bail and due in court on June 30th at 1:30pm.

A third suspect, 29 year old Edgar Hernandez of Stockton, was arrested and charged with carrying a loaded unregistered firearm concealed in a vehicle.

“We want to assure the public that these acts of violence are not random, but are often targeted attacks between parties that know each other,” said Commander Mel Hutsell of the Stockton CHP Office. “We take these types of incidents very seriously and are committed to ensuring public safety.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact CHP Investigations at (916) 731-6300.

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Brush Fire Fills Skies with Smoke

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SALIDA – A brush fire in the north end of Stanislaus County filled the skies over Modesto and neighboring communities with smoke Monday and Tuesday.

The fire was reported in San Joaquin County initially, but jumped the Stanislaus River late Monday afternoon. The fire burned in heavy brush along the river near the 10100 block of Beckwith Road.

Early indications suggest the fire to have burned 150-200 acres, however at time of publication an exact measurement was not available.

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Airport Neighborhood Shooting Investigated

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MODESTO – One person was rushed to a hospital after a report of a person shot Monday Afternoon.

The incident happened shortly after 1:30pm near the intersection of Kerr Avenue and Tenaya Drive. An ambulance left with one person and a sheriff deputy following close behind.

The area was closed off with crime scene tape as deputies examined the scene. Evidence technicians and investigators responded as well.

No further details were available at time of publication.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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