Fresno Police arrest suspect in 2016 murder of Ethiopian immigrant

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Fresno Police say Barket Shita was confronted and later shot by gang members while stopped at a gas station. (KFSN)

When Fresno Police arrived at the corner of Blackstone and Saginaw on September 29, 2016, they thought they were investigating a traffic accident. But when they approached the driver that had just hit another vehicle head-on, they made a surprising discovery; the man had been shot.

He was identified as 25-year-old Barket Shita an engineering student at Fresno State whose family immigrated here from Ethiopia.

According to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Shita was confronted by three gang members while stopped at a gas station on North Blackstone. For an unknown reason, two shot him. After a 19 month investigation, Dyer announced one is now in custody.

"One of the suspects is 20-year-old Kenneth Lee. He was taken into custody yesterday (Wednesday). The second suspect who fired a handgun is 18-year-old Devon Fisher he also has an alias, Doughboy, which is what they call him on the street."

Kenneth Lee is in the Fresno County Jail.

His alleged accomplice, Devon Fisher is not in custody. He is considered armed and dangerous, and there is a $2,000 reward for his arrest.

District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp says if captured he will be tried as a juvenile because of his age when the crime was committed.

"This is going to be a little bit different because we have one person who is a juvenile, and one who is an adult. So, there are legal proceedings that will be handled in the juvenile court and one in the adult court."

Dyer says both suspects have extensive criminal backgrounds. But the victim had none and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"This is an individual who is truly completely innocent never involved in gang activity never involved in criminal activity."

Shita is the father of two boys; one was born two months after his father was killed.
Related Topics:
fresno police departmenttraffic accidenthomicidehomicide investigationganggang violenceFresno - Central
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