Mexican street vendor Lorenzo Pérez, 45, was killed Sunday afternoon (March 21) in Fresno, California. His murder marked the 20th homicide in the city.
Pérez was shot in the head by someone, police say, who was pretending to be a customer. The vendor was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
Witnesses said the man who shot Pérez had been lingering around the area and gestured to the vendor to come over to him like he wanted to buy something. Police are currently looking at surveillance footage in the area to try to identify the suspect.
Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said the man who shot Pérez is Black, approximately 6’2″ and in his late teens or early 20s.
“The coward that murdered our food vendor, turn yourself in and face the consequences,” Fresno City Council President Luis Chávez wrote in a statement. “You’ve brought tremendous pain to a family and our city.”
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said there has been a 43% increase in crime this year. He added that a reward of $21,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the man who killed Pérez.
Pérez leaves behind a wife and four children—ages 15, 13, 9 and 1.
“My father was a great man,” Pérez son, Isai, told Fresno’s local Fox affiliate. “He was a great father, a great husband, a great friend. He spread love and kindness. He was about fairness, he wanted to share his happiness. He meant no harm. He didn’t deserve to go like this. The person who killed my dad took away a part of me. My dad went through everything for us. He took away my father. He took away the opportunity of me being with him in his last moments and it’s heartbreaking. I hope they find the murderer soon.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.