A Lodi man was shot and killed on Central Avenue early Thursday morning, marking the city’s first homicide of 2012.
At approximately 8:15 a.m., a Lodi police officer on patrol heard gunshots near the 300 block of Central Avenue. Once he was in the area, he saw a male juvenile running from the location of the gunshots, according to a press release by the Lodi Police Department.
Laying in the street just south of Lodi Avenue was a 21-year-old male who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the press release stated.
The victim was identified by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department as Lodi resident Eric Lopez Ramirez.
He was transported to Lodi Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The police officer who saw the suspect running from the scene gave chase on foot and was able to apprehend the suspect several blocks away, the press release also stated.
The name of the suspect, a 16-year-old, has been withheld, as he is a minor.
According to Detective Eric Bradley, it is too early in the investigation to tell whether the shooting was gang-related, though officers continue to pursue leads.
Witnesses gathered on the corners of Lodi Avenue and Central Avenue, some even providing tips to police officers from things they had seen that could have been related to the crime.
The last homicide in Lodi occurred on Nov. 16, 2011, when 20-year-old Shedley Frazier Jr. was also shot and killed on Central Avenue. Like Thursday’s victim, Frazier was murdered during the day.
However, this is the second shooting to occur in Lodi this week.
On Tuesday night, an 18-year-old documented gang member was shot in the leg. He survived his injuries.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Detective Larry Fluty at 209-333-6879, or Lodi Crime Stoppers at 209-333-6771 if they wish to remain anonymous.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at email@example.com.