Man claims self-defense at trial for deadly bar shooting in Fresno

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Janee Tatum was celebrating her husband's birthday at Crossroads Bar on Cedar and Shields Avenues. But shots rang out at the celebration and she died from a gunshot wound to the head and her husband survived. (KFSN)

A man accused of shooting a woman and her husband inside a Central Fresno bar two years ago claims he fired the gun in self-defense.

Craig Foster is on trial for both murder and attempted murder.

Janee Tatum was celebrating her husband's birthday in 2014 at Crossroads Bar on Cedar and Shields Avenues. But shots rang out at the celebration and she died from a gunshot wound to the head and her husband survived after also being hurt.

Investigators later arrested Foster in Ohio.

Tipped over barstools, spilled drinks and shell casings were all that was left at the bar after frantic customers ducked and ran out screaming.

On Monday, one of the last pictures showing Janee Tatum alive was shown to the jury.

The victim's surviving husband described Foster first approaching Janee.

"All I heard him say is I want to talk to you outside," said the husband who could not be identified. "She turned around and said, 'I'm married, I don't do that.' He walked on the side of me and he tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'is this your girl?' I was like 'no, that's my wife.'"

A short time later, customers described the loud music suddenly stop then the flashes of light.

Three people identified the gunman as Craig Foster in a photo lineup.

"The defendant proceeded to pull a 9 millimeter, semi-automatic handgun out of his pants and fired it four times," deputy District Attorney Gabriel Brickey said. "Striking Janee in the top of the head."

Investigators captured a picture of the suspect from earlier in the night at a liquor store. But catching up to Foster, was a cross country chore.

It took a federal team to track him down in an apartment. But after his arrest and during a jail phone call, Foster himself may have handed police the best evidence against him.

"The defendant said, speaking to someone who had knowledge of the apartment that 'the thump-thump' was in the bathroom garbage can," Brickey said.

Officers returned to the apartment and located the gun, that matched up to the shell casings from the crime scene.

The defense attorney pointed out that the husband was also armed with a Glock.

But, so far, no other witnesses reported seeing any other weapon during the deadly shooting than the suspects.

The husband was also shot twice in the back but survived.
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newstrialhomicide investigationfresnoFresno - Downtown
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