FAIRFIELD — Police late Friday continued to investigate a shooting in a Fairfield neighborhood that left one man dead.
The shooting was reported shortly before 8:15 p.m. on El Verano Court in Parkway Gardens, located off Dover Avenue near Air Base Parkway.
Police reported about two and a half hours later that the shooting was a homicide – the city’s first of 2014. The victim was described only as an adult male.
Fairfield Police Capt. Joe Allio said officers responded to reports of multiple shots fired to find a man dead in the common green area behind the El Verano Court section of the complex, not far from the community pool.
Allio said police had no suspects in custody and as far as they could tell there was just one victim in the shooting and no one had appeared a local hospitals with gunshot wounds.
No further details on the victim were being released Friday as investigators searched for family members, Allio said.
Although the suspect remained at large, Allio said there was no order issued for residents to take shelter indoors.
“(We) don’t think we have somebody running around with a weapon of some sort trying to kill people right now,” he said. “We think this was an event that’s over.”
It was too early late Friday to determine the circumstances that led to the shooting, and it was not clear whether the victim may have known his killer, Allio said.
Police blocked off the entire complex near the main entrance at East Pacific and Dover avenues. Residents of the Parkway Gardens community and those who said they were family members of the shooting victim were visibly distraught and nearly came to blows with officers at approximately 9:45 p.m.
Crime scene investigators arrived at the scene shortly before 10 p.m. Police Chief Walt Tibbet arrived shortly thereafter.
Allio said the chief showed up because the complex has been an area of focus for the department. A number of shootings at the complex in recent weeks have the department working hard to prevent further violence, Allio said.
That includes an increased presence in the area, and getting to know the management and the residents, Allio said.
“We want to do all we can to avoid another one or retaliation-related (crime),” Allio said. “See if we can’t stop it before the next event happens. We’ve been spending a lot of time here at Parkway Gardens.”
The neighborhood has been the scene of deadly violence in recent years that ultimately prompted a series of community stakeholder meetings and renewed efforts to curb violence there.
Two people were killed during a gunfight shortly before 5 p.m. March 7, 2012, in a parking lot at the Parkway Gardens town home complex during a drug deal that turned into a robbery.
Vedell Jamar Chew, 24, of Fairfield, and Bernard Francis Knight, 18, of East Palo Alto, died at the scene.
The double-homicide led to extended outreach by police and city officials in the Parkway Gardens community that led to increased police patrols of the neighborhood.
Marcel Rutherford-Chew, 20, of East Palo Alto, faced the possibility of life in prison without possibility of parole until Solano County prosecutors dropped murder and robbery charges and Rutherford-Chew pleaded no contest in December 2013 to a pair of involuntary manslaughter charges.
Rutherford-Chew was 18 at the time of the double-shooting. Vedell Chew was his cousin.
More recently, there was a shooting in early December with no injuries at Parkway Gardens, followed the next day by a shooting that wounded a 19-year-old at the condominium complex. Two people were arrested. The District Attorney’s Office didn’t file charges against them, pending further investigation.
Those shootings were among a string of at least a half-dozen reported Fairfield shootings during December, including the Christmas Eve shooting of a 25-year-old Fairfield man on the 1900 block of Grande Circle.
Prior to that, an 18-year-old man was shot Nov. 13 while visiting a makeshift memorial near a parking lot on El Verano Court.
Friday’s fatal shooting is being investigated by the Police Department’s Major Crime Unit. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 428-7600, the 24-hour tip line at 428-7345 or Crime Stoppers at 644-7867. Callers may remain anonymous.
Glen Faison contributed to this report. Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.