The year 2016 was a bloody one for Stanislaus County with its 36 homicides. But it was far less violent than the 2015 statistics. Homicides in the county had dropped 22 percent from the prior year, from 46 to 36.
Still, when one considers that 2014 saw 12 homicides and 2013 had 15, things were ugly this past year.
Most of the violent deaths locally occurred in Modesto where 15 persons died. Seven persons were victims of homicides in Turlock while two died in Ceres. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department worked 13 homicides in 2016.
Ceres saw the first homicide of 2016 when on Jan. 5 Ceres Police Department officers fatally shot to death Albert Thompson, 28, at a run-down apartment complex at 2601 Don Pedro Road. The officers encountered Thompson who began to run from officers and reaching for his waist area.
Ceres saw its second homicide of the year when Ceres youth coach Luis Malagon, 27, was fatally wounded in a shooting that occurred early Aug. 13 inside Latino's Bar on Mitchell Road. Police later arrested Rigoberto Cisneros, 36, of Empire, as the lone suspect. Cisernos was arrested at the Apex Inn on Yosemite Boulevard in Modesto after someone recognized him and tipped off police.
In the unincorporated area of the Collins Road area of Ceres, the Sheriff's Department investigated the deadly stabbing of Francisco Padilla, 48, of Modesto. The stabbing occurred in the 2500 block of Lynell Avenue west of Highway 99 and north of Service Road. Deputies arrested James Sandoval, 53, of Modesto, on charges of murder.
The final murder of the year occurred Thursday evening when a man was stabbed to death at the Budget Motel located at 581 S. Ninth Street in south Modesto.
Oakdale, Hughson, Newman and Waterford enjoyed a year where no homicides took place. Just outside of Hughson, however, at Fox Grove, Deputy Dennis Wallace was fatally shot and killed by a car theft suspect on Nov. 13. Later arrested for the murder was David Machado, 37, of Keyes.
Besides the fatal officer involved shooting in Ceres, police in Modesto were forced to shot and kill suspects in both Modesto and on West Main Street in Turlock in June.