A 20-year-old Fresno man is dead and four people are in jail in what Fresno County sheriff’s investigators described as a “robbery setup” that ended in a shooting Thursday afternoon, a few blocks from Firebaugh High School.
Detectives said Tyrel Truss drove to Mendota to meet a women with whom he had been communicating online.
When he arrived, the woman introduced him to three friends – two other women and a young man – who asked him for a ride in his car to Firebaugh. During the trip, investigators believe the man, 18-year-old Isaac Helms of Sioux City, Iowa, shot Truss with a handgun. The shooting was reported at about 5 p.m. Thursday.
Truss’ car struck a vehicle was parked on Cardella Street between Tucci Street and Landucci Drive, about a quarter mile from the high school where the girls tennis team was in the midst of a match against Dos Palos High School. Helms and the three women got out of the car and ran away, and the high school was reportedly put on lockdown as police looked for the assailants.
Tony Botti, a spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, said Firebaugh police quickly got to the scene and tracked down Helms and the women before asking the sheriff’s homicide detectives to take over the investigation.
Investigators searching the area found the gun that was believe to be used to shoot Truss; one of the suspects also had some of Truss’ personal property in their possession.
After interviewing all four suspects, detectives booked Helms into the Fresno County Jail for suspicion of murder.
All three women – Precious Green, 19 and Hannah Heywood, 19, both of Sioux City, Iowa, and Alexa Ramos, 20, of Firebaugh – were also arrested and jailed for suspicion of murder.
Investigators said they believe the four had arranged the meeting with Truss with the intention of robbing him. Botti said detectives learned that Ramos was acquainted with the other three suspects because she had lived in Sioux City before moving to Firebaugh.
Botti said the case has been sent to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office for review, and added that bail is expected to be set at $1 million for each of the suspects.