Antique Dealer Found Dead in Dinuba

August 19, 2009 12:26:32 AM PDT
Friends are mourning the death of a 74 year old man gunned down in his Dinuba antique store. The body of Ron Whisenant was found Tuesday afternoon, after Dinuba police got an anonymous tip asking for a welfare check.        |   Watch Video Above for More Information on this Story   |

Friends say Ron Whisenant has run a little antique store along a busy stretch of avenue 416 in Dinuba for 14 years, combining a love for collectibles and chat. "He knew everyone and they would come in for hours. I've never met anyone with so many friends, and so warm and so friendly," said a friend named Lyne, who didn't want to use her last name.

Police say they got a call just before noon, requesting a welfare check at the business. When they got there, things appeared normal and a sign outside showed the store was closed. "We found that the door was unlocked, when we entered we found a deceased male inside with a gunshot wound," said Lt. Devon Popovich with the Dinuba Police Department.

Just hours later, police announced a person of interest had been taken into custody for questioning. A motive isn't known, but Lyne says cops had been called within the last few months because of a dispute with the building's owner. Whatever happened, she is finding some comfort, knowing her friend's killer will be brought to justice. "Someone higher was watching over Ron and they'll be accountable to that someday because this was deliberate act," she said.

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