Fresno Taxi Driver Murdered

March 10, 2009 7:37:01 PM PDT
Fresno taxi drivers are on alert after the murder of a fellow driver and it's the second attack on a driver in just the past three weeks. Police have identified the victim as 32 year old Jesus Martinez. They say he was last seen leaving a Greyhound bus station in downtown Fresno early Tuesday morning and his vehicle was later found crashed into a tree near Kearney and Hughes.Taxi driver Enrique Villasenor may have been the last person to see Martinez alive. Villasenor told Action News he and Martinez were waiting for customers in front of a bus station around 1 a.m. when Martinez took what should have been his customer. "Probably the guy talked to Jesus about going to out of town. Because Jesus never said, 'take this customer, it's your turn, take this customer,'" said Villasenor.

Within a half hour of Martinez driving away from the bus station, police got called out to an accident near Kearney and Hughes where a cab was crashed into tree. The driver was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead. "It was at that point we learned he had received and died of a gunshot wound," said Lt. Tony Bennick of the Fresno Police Department.

Martinez is the second taxi driver attacked within weeks. Javier Gonzalez was stabbed and left to die near Adams and Academy on February 21st. He's recovering from his injuries and now Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies and Fresno Police are comparing the two cases. "We're in communication with them. We're taking a look at their case, taking a look at our case to see if there are any similarities," said Bennick. Police say there are two cameras at the bus station and they're hoping surveillance will teach them more about Martinez's final moments.

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