Deputies Investigate Teen’s Shooting Death Outside House Party in Stockton

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UPDATED, July 27, 2019 1:40 p.m. — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s arrested a 17-year-old in connection to Joel Vargas’ death.  

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly shooting outside a house party Saturday night.

Officials say 19-year-old Joel Vargas was killed when a party along the normally quiet Paloma Avenue turned violent.

“It was just, ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,’ like super fast,” neighbor Magda Arreola said. “There wasn’t any breaks in between and then after that, it was just chaos.”

Arreola said she had just gotten home from a night out with her family.

“We just walked in the house and about 20 minutes later, about 10:40, 10:50 (p.m.), we heard the gunshots and then after the gunshots we heard kids running everywhere, screaming and cars just peeling away,” she said.

Vargas died later at the hospital.

“It’s just a really sad situation,” Arreola said. “That kid, 19 years old, still had his whole life to live. It’s just really sad.”

Cellphone video shared with FOX40 shows people fighting in the middle of the street after the shooting.

“We know that someone knows something from the party. There were over 100 people that went there,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Andrea Lopez said. “Parents may know that their kids were at this party. If they saw anything, we are urging them to come forward and talk to us.”

Lopez says the sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help to track down whoever is responsible for Vargas’ death.

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