A key prosecution witness in a pending murder-for-hire case was himself shot and wounded Tuesday in Clovis.
Joe Luis Yzaguirre Jr. was shot on Herndon Avenue between Armstrong and Temperance avenues about 11 a.m.
Clovis police declined to identify the victim or release information about his condition. A spokeswoman for Community Regional Medical Center, where Yzaguirre was taken for treatment, said Tuesday night she was barred by law from discussing the victim's condition.
But an attorney involved in the murder-for-hire case confirmed Yzaguirre was the victim.
Yzaguirre called Clovis police about 11 a.m. to say he had been shot and police, firefighters and paramedics arrived at a house on the 2400 block of Herndon Avenue within minutes, police spokeswoman Janet Stoll-Lee said.
Officers set up a perimeter around the property but did not find the shooter. Detectives later searched the house, but no information was available Tuesday about what was found.
Working as a police informant, Yzaguirre secretly recorded Daljit Singh talking about wanting to hire a hitman to kill Fresno community leader Rama Kant Dawar, police say.
Singh's lawyer, Anthony Capozzi, said prosecutors notified him Tuesday that Yzaguirre had been shot and that Singh's trial, which was expected to start today in Fresno County Superior Court, will be delayed.
"He's a major witness in the case," Capozzi said. "I don't know how the prosecution can go forward with the trial without his testimony."
Capozzi said news of the shooting was shocking because Singh was ready to prove his innocence. Singh has been in jail since his arrest on April 18.
Police said Singh and Dawar had been partners in a limousine business, but had a falling out. Singh wanted Dawar dead when a lawsuit was decided in Dawar's favor, police said.
Capozzi, however, contends Yzaguirre set up Singh to put him out of business. Singh and Yzaguirre have competing limousine services in Fresno, he said.
During Singh's preliminary hearing in June, Yzaguirre testified that he had secretly recorded Singh for Fresno police. In the recordings, Singh talked about hiring a hitman to kill Dawar.
Capozzi has acknowledged that Singh talked to Yzaguirre about wanting Dawar killed, but Singh pulled out of the plot and never intended to kill Dawar.