AVENAL, Calif. (KFSN) -- Authorities are searching for the person who shot and killed Santos Cabrera in front of an Avenal home. This is the first homicide in city limits in over two years.
He was a husband and a father of three. Avenal police said Cabrera wasn't in a gang and didn't associate with the criminal lifestyle, which is why they are so concerned about a hitman-like shooting that left Cabrera dead on the spot.
"A suspect came from across the street, rushed him as he was getting into his vehicle, fired multiple rounds at him and fled southbound on Fifth Avenue," said Avenal assistant police chief Rusty Stivers.
The shooting happened just after 7 p.m. Thursday, when Cabrera was leaving a friend's house near Fifth and Stanislaus. Avenal Assistant Police Chief Rusty Stivers said it was warm out, and there were quite a few witnesses who happened to be outside. But the witnesses they interviewed could only describe the getaway car as a small vehicle parked down the street.
Neighbor Melissa Gonzalez wasn't home at the time, but said her brother heard four shots fired around seven. She said, "Everybody here is to themselves. Nobody here really messes with anybody. And we've been living here five years comfortably. We haven't had any type of situation any type of crime so for something like a murder to happen it went to the extreme."
The homicide is the first time anyone has been killed in Avenal in 27 months. Stivers said the city actively works to keep gang-related violence curbed, but this crime doesn't fit the usual mold, making it difficult to pinpoint who's involved.
"The fact that we haven't had one in a while and it's not gang-related, it's kind of a whodunit at this point," said Stivers.
He said it's possible the suspect or suspects involved could be in Avenal. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call the Avenal Police Department.