FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A man associated with a Fresno area white supremacist gang is now behind bars for murder.
40-year-old Brandon Engelman from Coarsegold is charged with shooting and killing 56-year-old Pacer Hampton, of Fresno, last month. It was the county’s first homicide.
“We have taken a very dangerous man who was associated with the white supremacist groups of gangs here in Fresno off the streets,” Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said Friday.
She said Engelman is associated with the Fresnecks and has a violent past including three prior convictions for home invasion, criminal threats and residential burglary.
“We do know that this was not a random shooting. Hampton was specifically targeted,” Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.
On April 13, Hampton was found in his crashed car on Olive Avenue. He had been shot to death.
Detectives received surveillance video from neighbors and identified a white Chevrolet Tahoe as a vehicle of interest. Once the photo was released to the public, Mims said tips pointed them to Engelman.
Investigators said searches of his Coarsegold home, along with one he frequented in Fresno, turned up enough evidence — including weapons and the Tahoe in question, to take him into custody in the area of Ashlan and Marks.
“In addition to being able to arrest the suspect in this investigation for the murder of Pacer Hampton the investigative team was able to prevent at least two additional acts of violence,” Smittcamp said.
She could not go into detail but says Engelman will also be charged for crimes against family members and other unspecified people or person, involving kidnapping, elder abuse and domestic violence.
The multiple agencies involved credited teamwork for the arrest.
“It took everything put together and all the techniques that we use and it took surveillance. It took interviews, it took technology, it took a lot of things, including just good police work from everyone involved,” Mims said.
Detectives believe there are more people involved in this homicide as well as more people with information and are asking anyone with information to reach out to Detective Gary Haslam at 559-600-8209.