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Modesto Police Department
Wednesday July 29th, 2009 :: 04:47 p.m. PDT


Three people were shot during a late night shooting.


Modesto, CA – Three people were shot during a late night shooting. A 10-year-old boy was shot and is in critical condition. Police need help identifying the suspects.

On Wednesday night at about 11:30 PM police were dispatched to the 100 block of Santa Barbara Avenue to investigate the report of shots fired with at least one person shot. Officers arrived within moments and found two men and one boy who had been shot. One of the men, 34-year-old Modesto resident Epifanio Ramirez, sustained a non-life threatening wounds, however the second man died from his injuries after being transported via ambulance to a local hospital. The deceased man has been identified as 29-year-old Modesto resident Jason Cyphers.

The third victim, a 10-year-old boy, was rushed by ambulance to the hospital with a critical gunshot wound to the head. His injuries are life-threatening and he is listed in critical condition.

The preliminary investigation suggests that at least two suspects fired a large number of rounds at the home striking the three victims. Detectives believe the 10-year-old boy was shot as he was laying in the living room. Police are investigating the possibility that this shooting was gang-related.

Epifanio Ramirez spent the day in a Bay Area hospital where Doctors amputated one of his fingers due to damage caused by a bullet. Upon his release from the hospital this afternoon, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrested Ramirez on the federal no bail warrant and booked him into the San Francisco County Jail. Ramirez will be arraigned on the federal charges Thursday afternoon in San Francisco and will be transported to Fresno.

On June 19, 2009, Modesto Police Officers arrested Epifanio Ramirez after locating numerous firearms inside his residence during a probation search. He was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm with altered/changed numbers, and a probation violation.

On July 16, 2009, Deputy District Attorney Thomas Brennan took the case to Fresno Federal Court due to Ramirez's extensive criminal history and his on-going relationship with criminal street gangs in the Modesto area. The Federal Grand Jury indicted Ramirez on two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and one count of possessing a sawed off rifle not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Brennan said, “This is precisely why we target certain offenders for Federal prosecution. Gang members who arm themselves with firearms are a prescription for disaster. The fact that Ramirez's 10 year old son is a victim of gang violence should come as no surprise to anyone with even a slight understanding of the violent nature of criminal street gangs.”

Brennan also said,”Gang members live by the sword and die by the sword. Often times truly innocent persons are caught in the cross fire. The shooting of a 10-year-old boy should outrage even hard core gang members. Epifanio Ramirez lost a finger and his 10 year old son could lose his life. All gang members should ask themselves if an innocent child victim is worth the cost of gang banging.”

Homicide detectives ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Modesto Police Department at (209) 572-9500 or tipsters can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.

For further information regarding this press release please contact Sergeant Brian Findlen at (209) 652-1386.

Modesto Police Department
600 10th St
Modesto, CA 95354

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-572-9500

Brian Findlen
Office of the Chief of Police

100 Santa Barbara Ave
Modesto, CA 95354

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