Family members of the victim say the victim and suspect didn't know one another prior to Saturday night. That's when they both left the same party at the same time -- but neither made it home.
Family members say Shawn Schulte had big plans. The Heald College graduate had a good job as a computer tech and was heading to Denmark this spring with his company. "He was brilliant. Everything came easy for him. It you need something fixed, call Shawn. He got it. He was just wonderful," said cousin Rushael Lawley.
Police were first called to the house at N. Shelly Ave. and E. Andrews Ave. for a disturbance. But seven minutes later they got another call of a hit and run accident involving a pedestrian. Schulte's girlfriend, Christy Cabral, said she and Shawn left the party after a fight broke out between other people there. "I saw a truck coming. He had his bright lights on, he didn't stop, and he didn't slow down. He sped up and Shawn realized what was going on and he pushed me," said Cabral. Cabral says that push saved her but Shawn was pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital.
Police say the suspect took off but they caught up to him less than two miles away. "They found the suspect vehicle on Shields and Clovis and the driver was trying to flee on foot. Officers were able to apprehend him and he was positively identified to be the driver of the hit and run vehicle," said Lt. Tony Bennick with the Fresno Police Department.
The victim's family members are left trying to make sense of the senseless. As they talked about Shawn, they kept his dog, Leah, close. "She'll sit by the window watching for his truck to pull up in the driveway. But he's not coming home," said cousin Haylee Hauschel. As they mourn, Shawn's cousins are also hoping others will learn a lesson from the tragedy - not to drink and drive.
The suspect, 18 year old Austin Jantz, is being held on four felony charges that include DUI, hit and run, and gross vehicular manslaughter.