A 13-year-old girl who relatives said had gone out front of her house to hand a phone to her brother’s friend was shot to death in Modesto early Monday morning. Her 15-year-old brother was shot trying to shield her, the family said.
The shootings occurred in the 1600 block of Pelton Avenue at about 12:20 a.m. The two teens were taken to a nearby hospital, where the girl, Brisa Covarrubius, was pronounced dead. Her brother was reported to be in stable condition. The boy’s friend was not hit, the siblings’ relatives said.
According to Heather Graves, spokeswoman for the Modesto Police Department, the two teens were in the front of their residence when a vehicle pulled up. After a short conversation between the driver and the male victim, a passenger pulled out a gun and shot both.
Manuel Juarez, uncle of the brother and sister, said the teens were just “kicking back, having fun” in the front yard when a Chevrolet pickup pulled up. One of the men started “messing with them,” he said, and asked them, “Do you bang?” – meaning, are they in a gang? He referred to the driver and passenger as Surreños. The teens answered “no,” Juarez said, but the man started shooting.
He said his niece was hit in the abdomen and twice in the back with a shotgun. Her brother tried to shield her and was shot in the arm, which broke it in two places, Juarez said.
Jessica Covarrubius, twin sister of the 15-year-old, said, “My mom thought my brother and sister were in the house. So my sister was gonna give my brother’s friend the phone and go inside.”
Her little sister had just graduated from Mark Twain Jr. High, Jessica said, and was going to be a freshman at Modesto High. Family and friends are invited to a vigil at the Pelton Avenue home at 8 p.m. Monday, she said.
Friends and family shared their grief on Facebook on Monday. “I feel like I just got stomach ripped out of me,” Nicolas Lim posted. “You weren’t deserving of this. You were a little a little girl with her whole life ahead of her. I’ll always remember every time I walked through your door and you’d spring up to give me your love.”
Police said they had no immediate information on the suspects or vehicle.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Detective Ra Pouv at 209-572-9826 or Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters may also text information to Crime Stoppers at 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327