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Officer shoots at suspect
Officer Joe Wren was involved in a shooting Saturday evening at Third Street and Whitmore Avenue. He has since been placed back on duty. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier file photo

An ex-felon faces charges of attempting to kill Ceres police officer Joe Wren after a harrowing Saturday incident in which the officer fired a shot at the suspect.

Robert Anthony de Los Rios, 34, of Modesto, was booked on charges of attempted murder, being an ex--felon in possession of a handgun and the illegal discharge of a firearm in the city limits.

According to Deputy Chief Mike Borges, the shooting incident began at 7:29 p.m. when several 911 calls were made to Ceres Police dispatchers about gunshots being fired in the 2500 block of Third Street near Whitmore Avenue. One caller said a man was firing a handgun into the air in front of a house. Officer Wren arrived on scene -- just a block away from the Ceres Police Department headquarters -- in approximately two minutes.

Wren drew his pistol and ordered three men outside the house to the ground. De Los Rios decided to make a quick move to the residence with the officer chasing close behind. Near the house the suspect reached into his waistband and removed his gun. The officer backed up and squeezed off one round at the suspect but missed.
De Los Rios then escaped to the interior of the house.

Some callers believed that the officer had been shot but he had not.

Backup officers secured the residence and called everyone out, including de Los Rios who surrendered.

A search of the house turned up a semi-automatic handgun inside the living room where the suspect may have tossed.
The other two men were not charged.

Wren returned to work within the standard three days off.