MODESTO (CBS13) — Last week, Modesto police took down a double murder suspect in a Stockton park, but police say this wasn’t his first homicide arrest.
A few days earlier, two innocent victims, Emilia Natale and Brandon Wheeler, were shot and killed outside a Modesto home. Police say they were not the intended targets in a shooting rampage at the hands of David Cummings Junior.
CBS13 has learned Cummings was arrested after a quadruple shooting in 2011 in Stockton, where a 19-year-old died. Due to a lack of evidence, the San Joaquin District Attorney didn’t prosecute and returned the case to the Stockton Police Department.
“If you’re not ready to go, you can wait and do further investigation. That sounds like that’s what happened in this case,” said attorney Mark Reichel.
Reichel calls it a gamble.
“The risk is the person who you suspect did this is obviously very dangerous,” he said.
Reichel says the district attorney will often file lesser charges to keep a suspect off the streets. Cummings spent five years in prison for weapons and drug charges and was released in 2016, but it’s not clear those charges were tied to the 2011 homicide.
The family of the most recent victims say they’re at a loss learning about Cummings’ criminal history and are left questioning if their loved ones would be alive if he had he been charged.
“This may be the case of a really dangerous person that did slip through the cracks of the system,” said Reichel.
Stockton Police say they don’t have any information about what put Cummings behind bars in 2011. They do say they are looking into the homicide of the 19-year-old once again.
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