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Suspects Arrested, Guns Recovered After Shots Fired at Deputy

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TURLOCK – Authorities arrested all suspects after shots were fired toward a Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy Wednesday night.

Turlock Police Officials said they were called to assist the Stanislaus Sheriff’s Office at around 8:44 p.m. on a Be On The Look-Out for occupants of a white sedan. Occupants of the car were reportedly seen shooting near the area of Berkeley and Alderson Roads, an area outside of the Turlock City limits.

Police said at around 9:21 p.m. a vehicle matching the description of the wanted car was found by a deputy.

After the deputy attempted to stop the car in the Seasons Park Drive area, one person inside fired toward the deputy.

According to Turlock Police, the deputy was not injured and did not fire his gun back at the suspects.

After a short pursuit, the suspect car stopped near the area of Spring Crest Drive. The three people inside the car ran from the deputy.

Deputies with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office and officers with Turlock, Modesto, Ceres and California State University Stanislaus Police Departments responded to the incident.

Modesto and Merced California Highway Patrol officers responded to assist as well.

A six hour search led authorities to three firearms and two suspects whose identities were not being released.

Police continued to search for the third suspect identified as 18-year-old Ernesto Covarrubias, known to be a Turlock resident. He was located Thursday afternoon by Sheriff’s Office Investigators near Mitchell and East Hawkeye Avenues. He faces charges including attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, and being under 21 in possession of a firearm.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Timothy Redd at (209) 664-7325, Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or Crime Stoppers, where callers can remain anonymous at (209) 521-4636.

Ernesto Covarrubias Photo: Turlock Police Department

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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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