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Shooting victim dies, teen up for murder
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A 15-year-old Ceres boy was arrested for fatally shooting a 56-year-old Ceres man in the head after a verbal altercation in a house in the 3000 block of Fifth Street early Sunday morning.

The arrest came after approximately 11 hours of investigation after a frantic Michael Chandler staggered up to the front door of the Ceres Police headquarters on Third Street for help.

Also arrested was the boy's 17-year-old brother who attempted to cover up the crime. Both suspects, whose identities were not revealed due to their ages, were booked into the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. The 15-year-old boy was charged with first-degree murder after the victim died Monday morning of his injuries.

At approximately 2:46 a.m. Chandler - wearing only pants and socks -started banging on the front door of the station. Two officers met him at the front door and saw that he had an injury to the front right of his forehead and was having difficulty speaking but could answer questions by nodding his head. It was readily apparent that he had been shot. Chandler spoke incoherently to the officers, unable to explain what had happened to him and where he had been injured. Officers were only able to identify Chandler by checking his identification. They tried to calm him while calling for an ambulance. Chandler was transported to an area hospital where his condition worsened quickly. A CAT scan revealed that he had a bullet lodged deep into his brain. His condition deteriorated to the point where he was placed on life support. He died early Monday.

Detectives visited several addresses that the man frequented in Ceres and at approximately 7:30 a.m. stumbled on an address in the 3000 block of Fifth Street where a large amount of blood was spilled on the front porch and walkway. Detectives removed the occupants of the home and obtained a search warrant for the residence. Detectives located a .32-caliber handgun that is suspected to be the weapon used in the shooting.

"They didn't even know each other," said Sgt. Allen McKay of the Ceres Police Department of the victim and suspect.

Detective Derek Perry said the two brothers were staying in the house of a friend, Mike Guptin, 18, and that Guptin allowed Chandler, a friend of his mother's, to sleep on the couch in the living room. Guptin reportedly went to bed in the back of the house. Perry said that the brothers came home around 2:30 p.m. making noises and disrupting Chandler's sleep had asked them to quiet down. A verbal argument ensued and one of the brothers went to get the gun. The younger brother, who has gang affiliations, shot the man in the right side of the head near the temple, said police. After the shooting the boy asked the homeowner who "the tweaker" on the couch was. Guptin told the boys he was a "friend of the house."

After being shot, Chandler walked or ran the quarter-mile to the police department.

"He was a strong guy," said Detective Perry, who said it was "amazing" that Chandler could travel the quarter-mile to police headquarters for help.

Chandler had been struggling financially in the last few months, staying where he could, said Perry.

Perry was not able to give the suspects' names but said the alleged shooter was attending Ceres Community School and was arrested earlier this year for assault with a deadly weapon.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to call Ceres Police Detective Derek Perry at 538-5730.