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Spree of gang-related shootings earns 20-year-old guilty verdict
Stephen Tisdale.jpg
Stephen Tisdale

Stephen Patrick Tisdale, 20, of Modesto, was convicted on Sept. 26, after pleading guilty to two counts of murder using a firearm, four counts of attempted murder using a firearm, two counts of participating in a criminal street gang, child endangerment, auto theft and home invasion.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar prosecuted Tisdale’s extensive criminal activity before his arrest in Ceres on Dec. 7.

Judge Carrie Stephens scheduled sentencing for Nov. 21 when she will hear victim impact statements. Tisdale faces a prison sentence of 285 years-to-life in state prison. Tisdale was under 25 years old at the time of his crimes and, under recent changes to state law, he will become eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

Tisdale shot a store clerk in the hand on Sept. 12, 2018. At approximately 9 p.m., Tisdale went to the Stop n’ Shop on Yosemite Boulevard in Modesto to commit a robbery, but it was closed. When the clerk refused to open the locked front glass door, Tisdale shot at the clerk, hitting him in his hand, and ran off. The shooting was recorded on the store’s video surveillance system.

He struck again on Oct. 9, when at approximately 3 p.m., he intended to kill a man on a bicycle in retaliation for a drug dispute between him and the Norteno criminal street gang. Tisdale fled after shooting the man on El Posado Avenue in Modesto, causing great injury. 

Tisdale’s third shooting was deady. On Oct. 21, 2018, at approximately 8 p.m., Tisdale drove to the area of Yosemite Boulevard and El Vista Avenue in Modest and entered the home of James Chisum, 37, and shot him in the chest with a shotgun. Chisum was was holding his 18-month-old grandson at the time but the child was not hurt. Chisum died. Tisdale told police that he believed the victim was a “drop-out” from the Norteno criminal street gang.

Later that evening, near the Sunrise Village Mobile Home Park on South Seventh Street in south Modesto, Tisdale shot at a 53-year-old man and his 57-year-old girlfriend as they were walking home. Tisdale believed both victims were “drop-outs” from the Norteno criminal street gang. The female was hit and suffered great bodily injury. Tisdale fled after the shooting.

The second killing occurred on Oct. 31, 2018, when Tisdale fatally shot a 58-year-old Sameer Sogul at his home in the 3700 block of Coffee Road in Modesto. He said the shooting was for the benefit of the Norteno criminal street gang.

On Dec. 4, 2018, at around 9:30 p.m., Tisdale was seen driving a stolen gray-colored 2003 BMW 530 in the area of South Abbie Street in Empire.

His arrest came on Dec. 7 when Modesto Police detectives determined that Tisdale was responsible for this crime spree and arrested him. At the time of his arrest, Tisdale was on felony probation for domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon.