Man found shot dead on Fruitridge area sidewalk

Published: Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013 - 7:38 am

A 25-year-old man was gunned down on a Fruitridge-area sidewalk Wednesday in a brazen late-morning shooting that drew dozens of family members, friends and onlookers to the scene.

The victim, found next to a parked car's open door, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified by his father as Alonzo Walsh.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m., Sacramento County sheriff's dispatchers received a call that a man had been shot in the area of East Nichols and 16th avenues, said Sgt. Jason Ramos. Subsequent 911 calls reported gunshots heard in the area.

Deputies arrived to find Walsh on the west sidewalk of East Nichols, south of 16th. He was lying next to a Chevrolet sedan, with its front passenger door open. The driver's side windows had been shot out, Ramos said.

It was not immediately clear whether Walsh had been alone.

Walsh had been shot once in the head, Ramos said.

Witnesses reported a car speeding from the area, but detectives did not receive consistent descriptions, Ramos said.

News of the shooting spread quickly, and some family and friends raced to the scene as deputies were arriving.

Walsh's father, Lorenzo Walsh, arrived later and stoically waited by the police tape to speak with detectives. Nearby, several women were crying in each other's arms.

Walsh described his son as a "troubled young man." Asked if the younger Walsh was in a gang, his father said "he was in the street life."

Before he could elaborate, he left to greet more arriving friends and family, and then answer questions from a gang detective investigating his son's shooting.

According to Sacramento Superior Court records available online, Alonzo Walsh was scheduled to appear Friday for a trial readiness conference. Last month, he was charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, reckless driving while evading a peace officer and driving with a suspended license.

Also on Friday, Walsh was expected to show proof of enrollment in a drug treatment program under the provisions of Proposition 36, which offers such help for nonviolent drug offenders.

That treatment was tied to a February conviction for felony drug possession, according to the court records. He was sentenced to five years of probation.

In 2010, Walsh pleaded no contest to felony hit-and-run with injury or death, and he was sentenced to three years in prison. It was not immediately clear Wednesday how long he served.

The shooting occurred a few blocks from Oak Ridge Elementary, Christian Brothers High School and the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center, where Walsh played basketball occasionally.

Charles Doss, the center's gym manager, drove to the homicide scene in a golf cart to help console any people he knows from the neighborhood.

He also felt he could be somewhat of an ambassador between the community he serves and deputies on the scene, many of whom he works with through the Sheriff's Activities League.

Doss also wanted to drive home a point to the young people he knew: Violence, like that on display Wednesday morning, has dire consequences.

Doss wanted to "(talk) to them in a point in time to let them see it's senseless," he said. "It's 12:15 in the afternoon. You guys should be at school or at work, but you want to shoot at each other for no reason."

Doss noted the day's beautiful weather and wondered whether the shooting was a harbinger of what's to come as the Sacramento days heat up.

"I'm ready to have a town hall meeting," he said. "This was just one. We need to have something soon before the summer hits."

As Doss pondered future action, many others hanging out at the crime scene tape seemed unfazed by the police tape, the myriad cop cars and the body in plain sight.

When one man rode up on his bicycle with two young children, sheriff's Deputy Marko Radonjic suggested the man move along – that children of their age shouldn't see such things.

The man scoffed. "They're used to it," he said to the deputy, before grudgingly pedaling off. "This is the neighborhood."

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @kim_minugh.

Editor's note: This story was changed April 11. An earlier version of this story said Walsh was 23. The sheriff's department and the coroner's office said Walsh was 25.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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