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Fig Garden community rallies behind memory of teen murder victim


Crime Stoppers needs your tips to arrest the suspects involved in a Fig garden murder and the reward has jumped several thousands of dollars. The community has rallied behind the tragic murder of 17-year-old Nicolas Kauls. He died last Thursday after being shot during an attempted robbery four days earlier.

Nearly half of the $18,000 cash reward has been donated by Fig Garden residents. The killing of Nick Kauls has sent shock waves through the neighborhood and they want justice for this innocent teen.

An infectious laugh silenced at the age of 17. Nick Kauls was gunned down in an Old Fig neighborhood. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims held a press conference one week after the shooting, confirming Kauls wasn’t targeted by the suspects who tried to rob him that night. Mims says Kauls was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now the Crime Stoppers reward for tips leading to an arrest of a suspect jumps to $18,000. A large chunk donated from Fig Garden home owners. 

“That shows how committed the community members are to drive crime out of their area,” said Sheriff Mims.

The murder of the San Joaquin Memorial student is the first in Old Fig since 1935, according to Mims. Dan Gallagher, President of the Fig Garden Home Owner’s Association says he lives five doors down from where deputies say Kauls’ shooter stepped out of an SUV to open fire as the teen tried to escape.

“If something like this can happen in what I deem the safest neighborhood in Fresno, then it can happen anywhere,” said Gallagher.

“You always think this doesn’t happen in your neighborhood and it happens and we’d just like to do some stuff to prevent it from any neighborhood in the future,” said Dean Alexander, Commissioner of the Fig Garden Police Protection District.

Sheriff Mims says she spoke to Lisa Kauls, the mother who is now without her only child. She tells Mims it’s too bad rewards have to be offered for people to do the right thing but understands the need and is grateful for the donors.

“When these rewards are offered, people talk,” said Mims.      

To be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward, you must call 498-STOP or submit your tips online at valleycrimestoppers.org. Tips must lead to an arrest and you will remain anonymous.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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