General Crime

* Hugo Chavez from East Palo Alto shot to death on Camellia Court

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Police are investigating the third homicide in the past week in East Palo Alto after the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man Tuesday night. Responding officers found Hugo Chavez from East Palo Alto lying in the driveway of 13 Camellia Court around 10:15 p.m., police said. He had multiple gunshot wounds to his torso. Chavez was taken to a hospital for treatment but died about four hours later, according to police.

Investigators determined a man approached Chavez in front of the house before the attack. It appears the two may have had a brief conversation before the suspect shot Chavez several times and ran away, police said. East Palo Alto police have not released any suspect information and have not made any arrests in the homicide. Investigators have not determined the motive or identified that this homicide was the result of gang-violence.

Less than 24 hours earlier, police arrived at the 2500 block of Illinois Avenue on Monday at about 8:45 p.m. to find 23-year-old Jabari Banford, who had been shot multiple times, lying on the sidewalk. Paramedics treated Banford, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. On July 13, 19-year-old Catherine Fisher was shot while sitting in a car with two others in the 2500 block of Annapolis Street at about 2:10 a.m., police said.

The Menlo Park woman was taken to Stanford Hospital, where she died later that day. Last month, a 3-month-old baby was killed as his family was leaving a baby shower on Wisteria Drive on June 5. Investigators believe Izack Jesus was mistakenly shot in retaliation for an assault by Sureno gang members in Redwood City on May 31. Fabian Zaragoza, the 17-year-old who prosecutors suspect killed the infant, pleaded not guilty to murder charges on July 13.

Chavez’s death marks East Palo Alto’s fifth homicide of the year, which is already more than the city’s four murders in 2010. In 1992, East Palo Alto was dubbed “the murder capital” of the country with 42 homicides for its then 24,300 resIdents, or a rate of about 173 homicides per 100,000 residents. The following year, the city’s homicide rate fell by 85 percent.

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