Detective says shooting victim appeared to be burglar
by Jonathan Partridge | Patterson Irrigator
Sep 08, 2012 | 4838 views | 2 2 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Stanislaus County Sheriff’s detective said this week that investigators believe a man who was shot to death in west Patterson early Monday, Sept. 3, had tried to burglarize a house when he was killed, matching the accounts of area neighbors.

Police arrested Luis Ballesteros, 25, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, on burglary and conspiracy charges in connection with the attempted burglary, though no one has been arrested for the homicide itself.

“We believe (Ballesteros) is the one who put the burglary in motion,” Detective Cory Brown explained Friday, Sept. 7, adding that Ballesteros appeared to advise the shooting victim that the home was vacant.

Investigators think that 22-year-old Juan Armando Silva was killed by a resident of a home on the 1400 block of Shearwater Drive shortly after 1 a.m. Monday while the alleged shooter’s parents were out of town on a camping trip, Brown said. The home where the alleged shooter lived was at 1404 Shearwater Drive, and Silva ended up being found dead on the driveway of 1400 Shearwater Drive next door, according to sheriff’s officials.

Investigators still have not determined exactly where Silva was shot and where the alleged shooter was standing when he fired his gun, Brown said. The name of the alleged shooter has not been disclosed, though several neighbors have said he is 19 years old.

The sheriff’s department continues to investigate the case and is still waiting on autopsy results, Brown said. The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office ultimately will decide whether to press charges, depending on whether they deem the homicide justifiable in accordance with state law.

State Penal Code 197 states that homicide is justifiable if a person is defending a home, property or person against someone who is proven to be committing a felony “by violence or surprise” or who “intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner” to enter a home to commit violence against someone. The state code also states it is justifiable when resisting a murder or felony attempt or when avoiding great bodily injury.

Brown would not say whether Silva had a weapon on him at the time of the shooting, as the matter is still under investigation. He verified that it appeared there had been another break-in attempt prior to Monday. Someone had taken window screens off the alleged shooter’s home sometime between Saturday, Sept. 1 — when most of the home’s residents had left for vacation — and Sunday evening, Sept. 2, when the alleged shooter had come home, Brown said.

This past week’s shooting does not appear to be related to the bust of a marijuana grow house on the same block last month, Brown said.

Anyone who has information on other burglaries that Ballesteros committed is asked to contact the sheriff's substation in Patterson at 892-5071, Brown said.

• Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or

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September 09, 2012
I can remeber a time in this town when you picked up the irrigator and maybe a tire was slashed or a car stereo was taken but thats when we had a police force I know the town has changed and alot of what is bad in this town has come with the increase in population but I feel we need to have a police force that is not contracted out to the sheriffs dept. a police force whose officers live in this town and are not rotated out like the sheriffs dept does. How many strong arm robberies, home invasion, drive bye shootings and murders does it take before we demand change some thing has to be done. I miss Patterson because this is not the Patterson I grew up in
September 08, 2012
Good to hear that the kid is not being blamed in this shooting so far. Who knows what could have happened to him if he was not armed and these guys got in the house while he was home alone. We have a right to protect our homes and our families.

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