For the people living and working in the Fresno neighborhood where three men were shot and killed last week, Monday marked a return to the daily routine.
“This can happen anywhere,” said Amparo Cervantes, whose daughter owns the Barr Brothers of California bridal shops along Divisadero Street. “I have been here 37 years, and I’ll be here another 35 years, God willing.”
Cervantes wasn’t working when accused killer Kori Ali Muhammad was arrested about 50 feet from one of her family’s stores, but she said the slayings have not deterred her from living and doing business in the area.
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“My neighbors are the best ever,” she said. “People think because (a neighborhood) is poor, that it’s bad. But it’s not bad.”
It’s definitely sad. Hopefully nothing like this happens again.
Fulton Avenue-area resident Laura Arroyo
Laura Arroyo has lived in a studio apartment next door to the bridal shop for about two years. She was home when shots rang out, saying she thought the noises came from a nearby construction site. She realized the sounds were gunshots after remembering it was raining, so no construction workers were out. Her boyfriend went outside to see officers arresting Muhammad.
“It’s definitely sad,” Arroyo said. “Hopefully nothing like this happens again.”
Arroyo walks across Fulton Street every day to buy a soda from Monif Market. She’s become friends with the convenience store’s employees, and worried that last week’s gunfire was the result of an armed robbery.
The clerk working at Monif Market Monday morning said he was managing the store when the shots rang out. People ran into the shop and screamed for him to lock the door because “there was some crazy guy with a gun.” He kept the store locked until police came by to tell him the threat was over.
I’ve always been safe down here.
Rudy Pereida, manager of Rio Acai restaurant
Arroyo said her neighbors at Studios 64 have talked about leaving the complex. She isn’t sure she will sign a second lease.
A little further to the north, Rio Acai manager Rudy Pereida said everything was back to normal. In fact, business has picked up since last week – though he attributes that to the warmer weather.
Pereida lives in Iron Bird Lofts just above Rio and was on break during the shooting. He thought the sounds were from the garbage can pickup, which happens every Tuesday morning.
“I’ve always been safe down here,” Pereida said. He first moved downtown about two years ago.
Neal Metler, an attorney with Brown Legal just south of Rio, said his law group had to reschedule several meetings with clients due to the road closures. Everyone was on edge last week, but things returned to “semi-normal” Monday.