Visalia police investigate the city's first murder of the year

January 22, 2013 12:03:27 AM PST
Family members and friends are mourning the murder of Clifford St. Martin. Officers first responded to the scene after getting calls of suspicious activity on the street.

Visalia police department Sgt. Candy Alvarez said, "As they were responding prior to their arrival it was upgraded to shots being fired in the area. When they arrived they found Mr. Clifford St. Martin, the victim in this case, in his own driveway."

Neighbors say they were frightened when they first heard the shots fired.

A neighbor Jean Campbell said, "It was pretty scary it was around 2 am and i was awakened with rapid gunfire. I couldn't tell which direction, kind of disoriented where it was coming from. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds he was then transported to Kaweah delta hospital where he was pronounced dead."

St. Martin's death marks the city's first homicide of 2013.

Visalia saw a drop in murders in 2012 with a total of 5, compared to 8 in 2011.

Investigators say Clifford St. Martin's death is not gang-related and police are not releasing details about a possible suspect.

Neighbors are hoping they catch the gunman soon.

"It's scary I have granddaughters and i have lived in the neighborhood since the 60s it's just a scary situation you don't expect to have that next door or anywhere near your family," Campbell said.

Police are still looking for information in this case and while they haven't released any details on the suspect, neighbors said they did hear the screeching of a car take off shortly after the gunfire erupted.


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