Crime - Sacto 911

Man shot, killed near south Sacramento middle school early Thursday

Three candles and a white rosary lay on the sidewalk Thursday morning in the 7400 block of Muirfield Way, where the Sacramento Police Department said a young man was found with at least one fatal gunshot wound earlier that day.

Police found the man about 1 a.m. after receiving reports of a shooting in the area, located behind Rosa Parks Middle School in south Sacramento, said Sgt. Vance Chandler, a department spokesman. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office identified him as 25-year-old Victor Mendoza of Sacramento.

Officers attempted life-saving measures before yielding to Sacramento Fire Department personnel, who took Mendoza to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The shooting is the department’s first homicide of the year, said Officer Linda Matthew, a department spokeswoman.

A group of five people gathered around the makeshift memorial site about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, but declined to be interviewed. One woman said she had been up all night at the hospital, while a man identified himself as the victim’s brother.

The street next to them was covered in glass, where news stations photographed a beige car with a window blown out earlier that morning.

Neighbor Rebecca Bernardino said four gunshots woke her from her sleep before police arrived, followed by the sounds of a car driving away from the street. For a moment, Bernardino thought the gunshots were fired from within her home, she said.

“It was that close,” she said.

No suspect or motive has been identified, though Chandler said police did not believe the shooting had any connection to the school.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Sacramento Police Department at 916-264-5471.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel