Questions remain in shooting death of Los Banos teen

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 22, 2013 

LOS BANOS — Police are sorting through what led to the homicide of a 17-year-old boy who was shot Saturday night.

Bidal Taito, 17, died at a Modesto hospital after being shot in an alleyway near the 100 block of West K St. at 9:51 p.m. Family members say the boy was shot in the back.

Police said they responded to an emergency call from a male resident in the 100 block of West K Street who reported someone was attempting to kick in his door. Moments later he told the dispatcher that he'd shot the suspect and needed help.

Taito was taken to Memorial Hospital, Los Banos and was later airlifted to a medical facility in Modesto. He was later pronounced dead.

Many unanswered questions remain in the boy's death. For example, it remains to be seen whether the shooter, whose identity has not been disclosed by police, will face charges. Police also haven't elaborated on specific details about how the shooter was positioned at the time he fired the fatal shots.

"No arrests have been made but we are working with the (California) Department of Justice while we investigate this case. At this point we have not ruled out any possibilities,” Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.

Taito's family is hoping for more details soon. "They shot my son and threw him away like trash," The victim’s mother, Corina Taito, said.

She said her son, who had just completed his junior year at Valley Community School (a continuation school), would often take the alley as a shortcut on his way home to the family's West J Street apartment.

Corina Taito, who was not home at the time of the incident, said when she arrived at the hospital, she discovered her son was shot in the back, but she is unclear of how many times he was struck by bullets. She said police have not provided her with additional information.

Neighbors on the normally quiet residential street heard the shots. "I heard what sounded like somebody slamming the door of a car, four slams, one right after another,” said Pedro Bidondo. "Then I heard three more and that got my attention. Then I saw the cops and realized they were bullets."

Bidondo said he believes if the street had better lighting somebody probably would have seen something.

The family of Bidal Taito, who was nicknamed "Tarzan," has set up a memorial in front of their garage door.

His mother said she moved her family to Los Banos from the Bay Area for a cheaper cost of living, never imagining she’d be mourning her son. "He was a happy-go-lucky kid who was looking forward to graduating next year," she said.

Taito's death marks the second homicide in Los Banos this year.

Enterprise Reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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