Popular Fresno liquor store owner dies in drive-by shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police are investigating the murder of a 23-year-old liquor store owner. He was shot to death in a drive-by shooting in his brand new Range Rover. Abdulfattah Salim Ali Saleh crashed into a pole and later died. The suspects are still unidentified and on the streets.

Investigators say Abdulfattah Salim Ali Saleh had just left his mini mart Monday night when a dark car pulled up to him and fired several shots. The injuries caused him to crash into a pole. The bullets ended his life, now detectives are trying to figure out what led to the deadly run in.

"We don't believe it's gang related right now," said Mark Salazar with the Fresno Police Department. "We have been active in past investigations in that area for gang activity but right now it's not pointing to that. Right now, we're possibly looking into it being narcotic related."

Investigators say the victim is from Yemen but has been a local business owner for several years. Customers say Saleh has a heart of gold and always helped others when they needed it.

Victoria Servantes added, "When my mom passed away, he helped a lot and this was last year, May. You know, he's always helped everyone. I don't understand this. It's very sad."

Last summer, a four-year-old was shot near the liquor store. Police say they first became acquainted with Saleh when they asked him to help them solve the crime, but he refused.

"We tried to get video from the store, they were very uncooperative, to include the victim," said Salazar. "We then wrote a search warrant in July 29th and in there we got video of the disturbance prior to the shooting that we believed was gang related and it was gang related. We also arrested our victim for drug charges because he had drugs in that store."

Officers say Saleh had oxycodone, ecstasy and prescription cough syrup in the store. Court records show he was convicted of misdemeanor drug possession but has not served jail time for that charge.

Investigators say the victim got into a disturbance on Sunday with a small group, they are unsure if it's related to the homicide. A warrant was served at the liquor store Tuesday.

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