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Lodi man shot, killed in Acampo

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Joshua Franklin

Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 12:10 pm

A man is in custody on suspicion of shooting a Lodi man to death at a home in a quiet rural neighborhood in Acampo.

Joshua Adam Franklin, 37, was arrested Wednesday night in connection with the killing of Thomas Kirby Birt, also 37, at a home on East Harvest Road, northeast of Lodi.

San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies say Franklin shot Birt after an altercation between the men turned physical. The motive for the killing remains under investigation.

Deputies responded after receiving reports of a man shot on East Harvest Road at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

At the scene, deputies found Birt suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body, Garcia said. Despite receiving CPR from deputies and paramedics, Birt died at the scene.

Witnesses said that Franklin shot Birt and fled the scene in a silver pickup.

“(Firefighters) tried to do CPR for 45 minutes, and they gave up,” neighbor John Bier said.

Deputies arrested Franklin at a South Sacramento hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries sustained during the struggle with Birt, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Les Garcia said. He was booked into San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on no bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today at San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton.

Bier said the shooting took place at a house at 4845 E. Harvest Road.

“We just heard a big boom,” said Aurora Garcia, who lives on East Harvest Road.

She added that she didn’t know the suspect or victim.

Investigators still haven’t determined a motive, but are continuing to interview witnesses and examine evidence, Garcia said Thursday afternoon.

Bier also said he didn’t know Franklin or Birt. Neither man lived at the residence where the shooting took place, Bier said.

Bier and other neighbors said they aren’t used to violence in their neighborhood.

“I’ve been here 26 years. I raised four kids here, and they turned out really good because of the neighborhood,” Aurora Garcia said.

Another neighbor, Claudia McBride, has enjoyed her three years on East Harvest Road, which is about three blocks long with older-looking homes and no sidewalks.

“After living in North Stockton, this is a slice of heaven,” McBride said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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