A Fresno man who died Sunday after he stepped in front of a bullet intended for his sister was called a hero Wednesday by Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Jose Duran Jr. was one of two men who died in recent, apparently senseless slayings described by the chief Wednesday during a monthly review of crime trends. In the second slaying, John Sandoval, 20, died on March 24 after he was fatally stabbed at a party.
“By all accounts, Jose Duran Jr. is a hero,” said Dyer, describing the Sunday shooting, which started as a domestic violence incident.
Dyer said Erik Ordonez, 33, the accused murderer, had quarreled with his wife the night before the incident and the woman asked her father and Jose Duran Jr. to come to her home on Fairmont Avenue just southeast of the Shaw/Marks avenues intersection to help her move. This apparently enraged Ordonez, who retrieved a handgun and was pointing it at his wife when her brother stepped in. The bullet struck him in the neck, and he died after being rushed to a hospital.
Dyer said Ordonez also pointed the weapon at the woman’s father, but the weapon apparently misfired or jammed. Ordonez ran, but was tracked by a California Highway Patrol helicopter and taken into custody after he was found hiding in a shed several blocks away. Police are still searching for the weapon in the hope that it will not fall into the hands of a child or a gang member.
Stabbing at party
The second slaying took place March 24 at an apartment complex on Fruit Avenue just south of Ashlan Avenue. Dyer said that Danny Duran, 19, was drinking alcohol at a party with friends when he become sick and vomited, prompting laughter from other partygoers. Enraged, Duran pulled a knife and stabbed four people, fatally wounding Sandoval.
The two recent murders bring the 2019 total in Fresno to 10, one more than the total last year at this time.
Police want help finding the missing gun used in Sunday’s slaying. Anyone who helps officers recover it can receive $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.