Fresno PD Investigates First Homicide of 2009

January 5, 2009 8:24:30 AM PST
Five days into the New Year and Fresno Police are already trying to solve the city's first homicide of 2009.It happened Saturday night outside the Quality Inn on Ashlan near Highway 99. Police are hoping the public can help them find a suspect.

Although it's the first homicide this year, there have been a string of shootings over the weekend. Investigators said they believe there are several witnesses who can tell them exactly what happened, but that information has been hard to come by.

Saturday night, Fresno Police Officers responded to a Northwest Fresno neighborhood near the Quality Inn, where a 20-year-old man was lying dead in the street. Officers said he had been shot several times.

Police were able to determine he was shot at the Quality Inn and then for whatever reason was taken to Norwich and dumped off there. A sweet sixteen party was being held at the hotel when the shooting occurred.

Investigators said they're not sure if the party and the murder are related. That's because witnesses have yet to come forward, a trend that is frustrating officers.

Saturday's hotel shooting is the first homicide in Fresno this year, but there have been multiple shootings, the majority of which are still unsolved.

Jonathan Martinez witnessed the aftermath of Saturday's murder. "The ambulance was out here, person on a gurney, and people looked extremely scared and frightened."

He said with no suspects in custody, he's concerned. "I live in this area. It's extremely like, wow people should be more responsible and there should be more law enforcement around," said Martinez.

Law enforcement said they are out there and dedicated to cracking down on these types of crimes. But, in order to do that, they need help from people who saw what happened.

The name of the 20-year-old victim has not been released yet. If you have any information about the murder investigation, you are urged to call the Fresno Police Department.

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