Arrests made related to month-old murder in southwest Fresno

The Fresno BeeFebruary 21, 2014 

Three men were arrested Thursday in Fresno on murder charges related to a bizarre shooting scene last month in central Fresno.

Victim Roman Casillas, 21, of Fresno was found shot in his vehicle Jan. 30 after crashing on Fulton Street near the Highway 180 exit. He died of his wounds soon after at Community Regional Medical Center.

Fresno police detectives determined Casillas was shot in southwest Fresno, not far from the traffic accident. Their investigation led them to serve five search warrants in the city Thursday, looking for the murder suspects.

Suspect Julon Haynie was arrested at a northeast Fresno home on the 2500 block of East Indianapolis Avenue. Three handguns and a "zip gun" were also found inside the home. The guns will be examined to determine if any were used in the murder, police said.

Freddie Carrasco, 19, was arrested at another northeast Fresno location and Dion Gibson, also 19, was arrested in southwest Fresno.

Detectives said the victim and suspects knew each other and had a prior dispute that led to the fatal shooting.

All of the men were arrested on murder charges, police said, and Haynie faces additional gun charges.

Detectives are still looking for Eugene Jefferson, 28, of Fresno, who is considered a person of interest in the murder investigation. Anyone with information about where he may be is urged to call Fresno Police Detective Andre Benson at (559) 621-2442.

As of Friday, there have been seven murders since the start of 2014 -- the same number at this time last year, said Fresno Police Lt. Mark Salazar. However, total violent crime in the city has reduced by about 10%, he said.

In 2014, there has also been a 20% reduction in total shootings and a 16% reduction in gang shootings, Salazar said.

Six of the seven murders this year have been solved, he said. For the seventh murder, a murder warrant has been issued for the suspect Jesse Aguilar, but he has not been found.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386, cgeorge@fresnobee.com or @CarmenGeorge on Twitter.

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