3 stabbed at east-central Fresno apartment complex

The Fresno BeeApril 23, 2014 

Jacob Velasquez

PHOTO PROVIDED BY FRESNO POLICE DEPARTMENT

Three people were hurt -- two critically -- Wednesday night after being stabbed in what apparently was a random attack at an east-central Fresno apartment complex.

Fresno police said Thursday that officers arrested 24-year-old Jacob Velasquez of Fresno in connection with the stabbings. He was booked into Fresno County Jail on three counts of attempted murder and one count of resisting arrest.

Fresno police spokesman Sgt. Jaime Rios said it's unknown why Velasquez stabbed the three people. All three victims were in serious but non-life threatening condition Thursday at Community Regional Medical Center, Rios said.

Police were called to the Sandalwood Apartments on the corner of Willow and Ashlan avenues just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The three victims had been stabbed near the apartment pool.

Witnesses led police to a nearby apartment complex, where they arrested Velasquez. He was carrying a knife, but police were not sure if it was the same weapon used in the attack.

Lazarus Alvarez, a neighbor at the Sandalwood who police said intervened, said that he heard the victims screaming and the sounds of a struggle through his screen door.

"When I came out, I realized the two girls were on the ground screaming for their lives, and me and the guy (Velasquez) had a face-to-face encounter," Alvarez said. "He called them witches. My neighbors started to come out, and, after I told my girlfriend to grab my KA-BAR (combat knife), he just ran."

Alvarez applied pressure to one of the victim's wounds until paramedics arrived. He was still stained with blood as he spoke.

"Thank God for my CPR class," he said.

Alvarez said that he had seen Velasquez around the apartment complex a few times before the incident. Police said they believe Velasquez may be a resident of the complex, but the investigation is ongoing.

Staff writer Robert Rodriguez contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441- 6015 or rappleton@fresnobee.com.

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