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 firstname.lastname@example.org.