Police detectives are investigating Reedley’s second homicide of 2018 — and second in just more than a month — after an 18-year-old Reedley man died two days after being shot multiple times the evening of the Fourth of July holiday.
Israel Cruz was gunned down shortly after 9:30 p.m. as he was crossing Parlier Avenue from the south side abutting T.L. Reed K-8 School. He was wounded by three bullets from an unidentified shooter or shooters.
According to Reedley police Lt. Marc Ediger, Cruz was shot after talking with someone in a parked vehicle. That person is not a suspect, and it’s believed the shots fired came from the direction of the school.
“We don’t have a motive,” Ediger said. “It does not appear random, but I don’t know that for sure. It doesn’t have the appearance of a random shooting.”
Ediger said Cruz was out talking with several people near the time of the shooting, more than an hour after sunset and while fireworks were being set by the public.
“His family was down the street a little ways doing fireworks,” he said. “They didn’t directly see the shooting but were there almost right after the [shooting].”
Ediger said fireworks going off in the area added to initial confusion immediately after the shooting.
“There were a lot of fireworks going off, so it was very hard to determine gunshots versus fireworks,” he said. “Obviously, when he went down in the middle of the street they knew something was wrong.”
Cruz was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno in extremely critical condition. The major medical issue was a gunshot wound to Cruz’s neck. He died on July 6 with family at his side.
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