Suspect arrested in connection to deadly shooting of Fresno man helping friends after crash

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A suspect has been arrested in connection to the deadly shooting of a Fresno man two years ago.

Back in August 2020, 36-year-old Joshua Thao was trying to help friends involved in a car crash at Backer and Belmont.

Police say four other men connected with the other car involved in the crash also made their way to the scene.

The two groups started arguing and authorities say 20-year-old Damion Salinas fired at Joshua, killing him.

Salinas left the area and an arrest warrant was issued.

Police were tipped off about Salinas being in Mexico, where he was ultimately arrested on Wednesday.

Salinas was taken to the San Diego County Jail and eventually will be transferred to the Fresno County Jail. His bail is set at $1.5 million.

Joshua was the brother of Brooke Chia Thao, who appeared in the film 'Gran Torino.'

After hearing the news, Brooke said she broke down.

"You can be free now, smile and laugh and go reborn," she said. "We got the guy."

This is not the first time the Thao family has suffered tragic heartbreak or had to wait for the killer of a family member to be caught.

"Our aunt, who was murdered 30-something years ago, they never found the killer," Brooke said.

Brooke has a message for Salinas...

"I want you to stand before us and say sorry, and I want you to become a better person," she said.
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