Authorities look for suspects in Avenal homicide

FRESNO, Calif.

South Valley investigators are searching for a group of gang members, who they say shot and killed a man, and stabbed two teenagers.

The attack happened Sunday at the corner of Stanislaus Street and A Street in Avenal.

Avenal police say 20-year-old Albert Alcala was shot several times Sunday morning and died at the hospital. Detectives are now working around the clock, searching communities across the Valley to find his killer.

A small memorial glows on the dark street corner at Stanislaus Street and A Street -- the spot where three people were attacked early Sunday morning. Avenal police say the victims were walking home when they were confronted by a group of Norteno gang members.

"At this time, we don't believe that the victims were wearing anything provocative. There's no indication that there were gang slurs thrown. We know they were walking down the street, heading to the northwestern portion of the community," said Avenal Police Chief Jack Amaroso.

Investigators say the suspects were at a party at a house on Stanislaus Street. They're not sure how many people attacked Alcala and his two 17-year-old friends, but police have been questioning everyone in the neighborhood.

Chief Amaroso says the suspects are likely not from Avenal, and his detectives are tracking down significant leads. "We've been able to use the resources of our gang task force and the district attorney to spread out the investigation and take it where it needed to be -- using witness statements to further the investigation."

While Avenal is not free from crime, it is rare for someone in the city to be murdered.

This is the first homicide of the year in Avenal, and only the second since the Avenal Police Department's inception - nearly two years ago.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Avenal Police Department.

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