Fresno Security Guard Murdered On Duty

November 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno Police are investigating the murder of an apartment complex security guard with an unusual weapon. Coroners say the guys who killed 59-year-old Albert Rodriguez beat him to death with a tree branch.Rodriguez was well known as a security guard at the Summerset Village complex on Weldon near Fresno in Central Fresno, but he didn't wear a uniform, so the killers may not have known who they were attacking.

Rodriguez's reserved parking spot was empty Friday and there are few signs of the struggle that killed him, just a few leftover pieces of police crime scene tape. But impressions from the beating are burned into the memory of some neighbors.

"I heard something like beating on something, like a wood being hit on something and I was sure they were just doing construction," said eyewitness Lydia Joachin.

Police say Rodriguez was walking around the complex when he ran into trouble.

"About 30 minutes before we got called out, Rodriguez called his manager to say he was going to contact a group of youths who were causing trouble," said Lt. Tony Bennink of the Fresno Police Department.

Police don't know how many suspects there were, but they beat Rodriguez with whatever they found on the scene. By the time police arrived, the suspects had scattered and officers checked the apartment for clues.

"They came into my apartment to see if nobody was hidden here," said Joachin. "They were doing that to all the apartments right here."

Neighbors say they're scared now because of what happened and because the man they leaned on for their safety is gone.

"He was a really good worker," said Joachin. "He really looked out for the people he was protecting."

Rodriguez leaves behind a wife and two kids, according to police. He was the 39th homicide victim in Fresno this year, two more than at this time last year.


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