The Modesto Police Department is still investigating a shooting which left a Deputy Sheriff and one civilian dead.
Officers from the Modesto Police Department and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department received the radio call for “Officer Needs Assistance” in the 2100 block of Chrysler Dr in Modesto just before 11:00 AM Thursday morning. Officers arrived to find 53-year-old Deputy Bob Paris and Glendon Engert, a 35-year-old locksmith, had both been struck by gunfire. Engert and Deputy Paris were later pronounced dead.
According to a Modesto Police press release issued on Friday night, Modesto Police later learned two deputies from the Stanislaus Sheriff’s Office Civil Division were attempting to serve an eviction at an apartment when shots were fired. Engert had been hired by the entity seeking the eviction, standard in civil evictions, and was there to gain entry into the residence.
Law Enforcement officers from all over the Central Valley responded to the scene. A perimeter was quickly established around the house in attempt to contain the suspect.
Officers quickly evacuated the complex and surrounding areas to keep citizens out of harms way. After over 6 hours of consistently and relentlessly trying to communicate with the suspect, tear gas was deployed into the residence. Attempts to communicate with the suspect continued as tear gas was deployed. During this time officers could see lights turning on and off inside the apartment complex.
Around 9pm officers at the scene reported a fire starting inside the complex. Modesto Fire Department was on the scene to assist with the fire. Crews were able to contain the fire to prevent it from spreading to any neighboring apartment complexes. During the time the fire was burning officers still attempted to communicate with the suspect with no response.
Eventually the fire was extinguished just before 2am Friday morning. The suspect had not emerged from inside at this point. Officers maintained a perimeter around the residence while fire officials continued to put out “hot-spots” until approximately 9am yesterday morning. At that time investigators from the Modesto Police Department, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Bureau (ATF) began examining the crime scene. Fire officials deemed the house unsafe during the first few hours of the crime scene evaluation, but officials from ATF were eventually able to make entry into the residence.
Once inside ATF officials confirmed they had located a deceased body inside the apartment complex. The identification of the subject found will not be established for several days, possibly weeks.
At this point the Modesto Police Department is taking the lead in the investigation. Detectives will attempt to establish what may have led up to and the overall circumstances of the shooting. ATF agents will be conducting the evidence collection for inside the apartment building. Modesto Police Detectives are collecting evidence from in front of the apartments and surrounding areas. ATF agents are highly trained in evidence collection in buildings damaged by fire.
Due to the very complex scene and damage inside the building ATF agents anticipate their evidence collection will lead them well into Sunday evening, possibly Monday morning. Modesto Police anticipate finishing their collection this evening. At that time police will notify all residents who have been displaced when they can return to their homes.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and the Modesto Police Department have been overwhelmed with the support we received from our local and outlying law enforcement agencies, volunteer groups, and citizens who helped bring this incident to a resolution.
Police still ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.