Double homicide rocks Fowler neighborhood, investigation ongoing

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Investigators say domestic violence played a role in this tragedy

FOWLER, California (KSEE) — A neighborhood in Fowler is in pain Saturday after police found two of their neighbors dead with gunshot wounds. Investigators believe the tragedy is the result of domestic violence.

Fowler Police made the discovery just before 5 p.m. after responding to a shots fired call at a home by Fifth and Tuolumne streets. Once determining this was a homicide, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office was asked to take over the investigation.

Fatima Garcilazo has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, she said crime scene tape and flashing lights aren’t a common sight there.

When something of this magnitude does happen, though, she said people just want to help their neighbors.

“This is a small town, it’s a really quiet town,” Garcilazo said. “When things happen, we all kind of get together and watch for each other.”

Lt. Brandon Pursell with Fowler Police said the victims are a man in his 40’s and a 16-year-old boy. Investigators were able to get a suspect description out fast to surrounding law enforcement agencies. Shortly after, Reedley Police located him in their area.

“As soon as they located him, they attempted to make a vehicle stop. [That’s when] the pursuit ensued,” Pursell said. “The pursuit went from the city of Reedley, all the way into the city of Fowler — where the suspect collided with a train.”

The suspect — said to be a man in his 20’s — died in the crash. On motive, Pursell said domestic violence definitely played a role in all of this. However, he wouldn’t comment on exactly how the victims or suspect are related to each other.

Fowler Police Chief Rudy Alcarez said this is a reminder to speak up when you see something wrong.

“We ask for all our citizens, not just in Fowler, but anywhere. If you see signs of domestic violence or domestic disputes, please speak up. Often times, the victims don’t have the strength to do so on their own,” Alcarez said.

Nearby in front of Fremont Elementary School, family and friends of the victims comforted each other as investigators continued to process the scene.

Both Alcarez and Garcilazo say this crime doesn’t speak for their town.

“You question [safety when this happens], yes, but we’re still in a safe town,” Garcilazo said.

Pursell said investigators have been getting full cooperation so far from the people involved. The victims’ family only moved into that home months ago.

If you know anything about this, please give the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office a call at 559-600-3111.

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