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Popular coach gunned down
Violent shootings take place in Ceres within days
Latino Bar
Latinos Bar on Mitchell Road was the scene of Saturday's deadly shooting of Luis Malagon. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Two separate violent clashes in Ceres within three days left a popular Ceres coach dead in a Saturday morning bar shooting and two seriously wounded in a Thursday evening shooting during a car chase.

Luis Malagon, 27, was fatally wounded in a shooting that occurred after midnight early Saturday inside Latino's Bar on Mitchell Road. Malagon was rushed to a local hospital where he died, leaving a fiancé, Janelle, and three children.

Police provided no details about the deadly shooting but identified Rigoberto Cisneros, 36, of Empire, as the lone suspect. Cisernos was arrested Monday evening at the Apex Inn on Yosemite Boulevard in Modesto after someone recognized him and tipped off police. The Ceres Police SWAT team cleared the motel and used a flash grenade to flush him out of the room. Police recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the homicide.

Witnesses indicated that there was no dialogue between Cisneros and Malagon, who dropped by after his shift at Gallo to have a drink at the bar.

"We can't find anything that indicates he was anything other than a good guy," said Ceres Police Department Lt. James Yandell. "They (detectives) do know how it started but we don't want to release that."

Anyone with information on the fatal shooting is urged to call Ceres Police Department Detective Carlos Quiroz at 538-5638.

A website (found at fundraising effort raised $21,280 by yesterday toward a $10,000 goal to help bury Malagon, who was nicknamed "Weezy," and financially support his survivors. Mourners noted that Luis was formerly a student at Virginia Parks Elementary School, Ceres High School graduate and was a coach. He worked at Gallo Winery and also coached.

Thursday shooting
Two occupants of an SUV were left in critical condition Thursday evening after being shot at Caswell Avenue and Fifth Street during a street chase.

No arrests have yet been made and the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

A flood of calls about shots fired were made to Ceres Police dispatchers at 8:03 p.m. reporting gunshots were being fired in the area of Central Avenue and Evans Road. Officers quickly located two badly wounded victims in a bullet-riddled silver 2005 Dodge Durango stopped on the side of the road of Central Avenue and Chablis Way. The man driving the pickup sustained a gunshot wound to the back while his adult female passenger sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Ceres officer provided first aid until the ambulance arrived. Both victims were transported to an area hospital where they are in critical condition.

Detectives learned that the shooting began as the Durango was being chased by a dark-colored vehicle westbound on Caswell Avenue. The first volley of gun fire was heard on Caswell Avenue near Fifth Street. The chase turned north on Central Avenue when a second volley of gunfire was heard. Investigators found spent shells at both locations. It appears that the wounded driver of the SUV continued north on Central Avenue where it stopped at Chablis Way. The suspect's vehicle fled the area.

Anyone who can help Ceres Police piece together what happened or identity the occupants of the dark-colored vehicle is encouraged to call Detective Bryan Ferreira at 538-5616. Anonymous tips may be left on 538-5740.