Shani Moffett stood a block away lighting candles from where a man was fatally shot at the intersection of Plymouth Road and Kelley Drive in Stockton more than a week ago.

The San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man killed as 44-year-old Michael Mello Sr., an unhoused resident.

Although unhoused, Mello was no stranger to the neighborhood where he was gunned down.

Moffett said Mello — also referred to as “Mike” — lived in a Honda CR-V for years that had been parked in the area. She described Mello as a nice guy who was very loved.

“Nobody had a problem with Mike being here,” Moffett said. “We all came together for the love of him.”

Mello’s death has been a shock to those who knew him.

Moffett’s boyfriend Tre Thomas said he heard several gunshots before knowing what had occurred.

Mello and an unidentified woman were both shot, police said. Mello died at the scene and the woman was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

Thomas said that grey paint was placed over the blood stains where Mello’s body was found to mask the red reminder.

Tre Thomas looks at the memorial honoring Michael “Mike” Mello Sr. that he and his girlfriend Shani Moffett set up on the victim’s car near Plymouth Road and Kelley Drive in Stockton on Oct. 10, 2023. Thomas said he heard the gunfire on the night Mello died. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News/Catchlight Local)

Memorial grows

On Tuesday there were balloons placed on a neighbor’s fence at the intersection along with four candles and two posters.

But Moffett and Thomas decided to create a bigger memorial Monday where Mello’s ever-present vehicle is parked.

On the center of the car hood was a whiteboard that held messages for Mello, a photo of he and his mother, some flowers and candles, and posters in the spots where window glass was missing.

Additionally, on the sidewalk there were various candles arranged in a rectangle and inside several smaller candles were placed with the letters “LLM” which stands for Long Live Mike, according to Moffett.

A bright lime green poster stood out with Mello’s face near other posters that read “RIP Mike” accompanied by star balloons and white balloons.

Flowers and candles join a whiteboard containing condolence messages for Michael “Mike” Mello Sr. on the hood of his car near the Plymouth Road and Kelley Drive intersection in Stockton where Mello was shot and killed Sunday. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News/Catchlight Local)

As the couple glanced at the photos remembering their neighbor, they also recalled how they would bring him groceries, how Mello never asked for money and how at times he’d cut people’s grass without them asking.

“He wasn’t blood, but he was family,” said Thomas.

Stockton Police had not yet identified a suspect or motive in the shootings.

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m sorry the comment made about Mike mello having a girlfriend that statement is untrue the woman stated is married living with her husband. An to claim him in death is wrong . I’m sorry Mike mello deserved better then that. An accident was a comment made by pd an that is not the right words .no accident u pointed an u killed that’s not a accident.

  2. My name is Sally Ramos ,
    I am Mike mellos mother of his five we were together for 14yr. But we’re separated Mike Mello was a amazing caring man to all and everyone he came across.
    Our oldest daughter is in charge of his funeral arrangements and as no one mention that he leaves 6 kids and 3 stepchildren behind we all miss him and love him. The mention of his girlfriend was ONLY a friend she had A husband. For someone to claim my kids father after he passed and not while he was living is in the wrong. I understand everyone is mourning his loss but the truth is the truth and THE ONLY ONE THAT ARE NOT BEING MENTIONED ARE HIS KIDS AND HIS FAMILY THAT ARE ones hurting. And the night he was killed he was with close friend of ours. Rip Mike Mello we love n miss you. BFF.

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