Woman fatally stabbed near a Fresno Big Lots store

FRESNO, Calif.

Investigators are having trouble tracking down witnesses, but Action News talked to two women who live about 100 yards from the spot where the victim was attacked. They got to the scene right before the woman died, just in time to hear the woman tell police who stabbed her.

Frantic family members rushed to the crime scene, just as police closed it off to the public. Hours later, homicide investigators marked blood stains leading down the street to the spot where the victim's shirt lay at the entrance to the parking lot for a Big Lots store.

So far, investigators don't know of any witnesses to the crime itself, but one woman tried to help the victim and got blood all over her clothing. A few women from the nearby Stoney Brook Apartments also ran to her side.

"I thought I heard some screaming so I muted my TV and I heard the lady yelling 'Help me!' said one of the women, who wanted to be identified only as Ashleigh.

From her second floor apartment, Ashleigh could see the crime scene and ran downstairs.

"We saw a lady laying out on the floor," she said. "She kept screaming that she couldn't breathe and to help her." But there was nothing Ashleigh or anyone else could do.

Seconds later, as an ambulance arrived, the victim stopped breathing. Before she died, police asked who stabbed her. Ashleigh says the woman answered by using a derogatory term to describe field workers.

Detectives checked a nearby AM PM convenience store and video policing sites for video that might show a suspect walking past. They also looked all over the neighborhood for the murder weapon, without any luck.

Police are asking for witnesses to come forward, but the attack happened at about 6:30 a.m. and nearly all of the stores in the strip mall were closed. This was the 36th homicide in Fresno this year -- one more than at the same time last year.

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