Downtown Fresno homicide highlights disturbing trend of violence against homeless

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This is the 4th violent homicide involving a homeless or transient person in Fresno this year. (KFSN)

The death of a homeless man who was attacked in downtown Fresno Monday is the latest in a series of homeless killings in the city.

Police say the middle-aged man appeared to have been beaten to death. A passerby spotted the man's body in the street early that morning.

Police crime scene investigators were at the scene all day looking for clues in what is now the 4th violent death of a homeless person in just six weeks.

The latest attack on a homeless person has those who live on the street worried.

"Do you feel like you are in danger?" an Action News reporter asked a man named Steve.

"Yes, absolutely," he said.

Steve is staying under a bridge near where the latest homeless homicide victim was attacked. Police say the victim ran about 50 yards before collapsing at the corner of Broadway and S street.

"Appears to be a Hispanic male in his 50s - not identified right now, died from trauma to his upper body," Lt. Joe Gomez with the Fresno Police Department said.

Police questioned another homeless man at the scene but have no suspects. This is the 4th violent homicide involving a homeless or transient person in Fresno this year.

On January 10, a man was killed near Floradora and Highway 168. He was identified as James Lindsay and a suspect was arrested. The next homeless homicide occurred on January 18 when a man's body found behind a dumpster near First and Barstow Avenues.

On February 17, a homeless woman was beaten to death in the doorway of a storefront Church at Blackstone and Pine Avenues. Police don't believe the deaths are related, but Steve says things on the street are getting more dangerous.

"I can't understand what the heck's going on," he said. "People chasing you around when you're homeless. And there's violence, unneeded, you know, it's not like somebody's asking for a fight or something. They are just bringing it on."

Police say most violence against homeless comes from fights or disputes with other homeless. But the last three attacks that resulted in death remain unsolved.

Police do not think someone is stalking the homeless but note that four homicides in just six weeks are highly unusual. There has been a total of 13 homicides in Fresno so far this year.

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