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Suspects Connected to Shooting Death of 5-Year-Old Modesto Boy Arrested

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MODESTO -- Just days after the Modesto Police Department released surveillance video of a possible car involved in a homicide, authorities arrested three suspects connected to two northeast Modesto homicides that happened in late 2017.

Saturday morning, authorities served several search warrants connected to the shooting deaths of 5-year-old Xavier Smith on Lake Park Court and 21-year-old Cody Lea at Ustach Park.

Robert Earl Davis, 21 (Credit: Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office)

The shooter in both cases, 21-year-old Robert Davis was arrested late Friday night at a motel in Santa Cruz by the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Police say, on October 28, 2017, 20-year-old Ryan DeSousa drove into Lake Park Court with Davis as his passenger. Davis then began shooting at multiple residences which lead to the death of Xavier and the injury of another juvenile.

DeSousa was arrested and booked in the Stanislaus County Jail for murder.

Authorities say drugs were the motive behind the shooting but do not believe Xavier's home was the intended target.

"To be honest, I’m pretty happy they got the killer. Nobody should kill kids or anybody else. That’s not God’s law, God’s way," said neighbor Remzi Sliwo.

Sliwo has lived in the neighborhood for a little less than a year -- rallying together with other neighbors to help the Smith family. Sliwo was ecstatic when he found out about Davis' arrest in Santa Cruz.

"Pretty good and pretty safe for our neighbor, for the community, for society, for people. God says in the bible 'Thou shall not kill,'" Sliwo said.

DeSousa was arrested and booked in the Stanislaus County Jail for murder.

Davis’ arrest likely brings some closure to the family and friends of Lea as well. He was shot and killed at Ustach Park on November 21, 2017 and Modesto police believe Davis pulled the trigger there too.

David Wilmore Jr., 21, (left) and Ryan DeSousa, 20 (right) (Credit: Modesto Police Department)

Saturday morning, police arrested 21-year-old David Wilmore Jr. for being an accomplice with Davis when he allegedly shot Lea.

Wilmore Jr. was booked in the Stanislaus County Jail for murder.

For Sliwo, knowing someone will pay the price for the death of a 5-year-old boy is all he wanted.

"The law is the law, I feel pretty good. No one deserves to be killed or shot or stabbed or anything like that. For a little boy, that’s very, very sad. That little boy, he passed away, He died. He’s not going to grow up, see his years, his days, his family, his job, his future," Sliwo said.

Xavier’s family did not want to talk about the arrests.

Outside of the two murders, Davis will likely face charges for injuring a 6-year-old who was playing with Xavier at the time he was killed.