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Man shot in home invasion robbery on Vito Avenue

A man sustained critical injuries when he was shot during a Monday evening home invasion robbery at his home on Vito Avenue just outside of the Ceres city limits.

The victim is expected to survive, according to Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Sgt. Veronica Esquivez. Detectives obtained an initial statement from the victim at the scene and he denied knowing why the men invaded his house or their identities. Follow-up interviews were not immediately conducted because the man was sedated at a local hospital intensive care unit.

“We think it was a targeted incident,” said Sgt. Esquivez. “There’s something going on there but we’re still working on it. Our detectives were out there until midnight working on it.”

Witnesses said two or three men with weapons burst into the home in the 1200 block of Vito Avenue just outside of Ceres where a scuffle ensued and then moved into the backyard where the man was shot. A woman in the house sustained a minor facial injury requiring stitches at the hospital.

Children inside the house at the time of the robbery were not injured. After the men fled, the robbery was reported to 911 dispatchers at 6:25 p.m.

The assailants fled on foot through the alley and have not been identified. The Sheriff’s Department set up a perimeter around the area and put its helicopter in the sky but the suspects evaded capture.

“The family that was there said they didn’t recognize the men that went in there,” said Sgt. Esquivez. “One of them didn’t have a mask. The other did so they still weren’t able to recognize the person who didn’t have a mask.”