Detectives are no longer investigating the fatal shooting of a man in Rancho Cordova last week as a homicide, according to authorities.
Exactly why they believe the death of Justin Washington, 27, was not a crime is not clear. Sacramento County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said only that there is no evidence so far in the investigation that he died in a homicide.
“We’re kind of back at square one,” she said.
Washington died Tuesday night after suffering a fatal gunshot wound to the leg while standing outside an apartment complex at 10401 Rockingham Drive. Bowman said one theory detectives are considering is that Washington accidentally shot himself.
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Through Bowman, detectives declined to say whether a gun was recovered from the scene.
She said detectives have encountered “zero cooperation” from people who were contacted at the scene. One possible witness claimed seeing two men, one possibly armed, run from the scene northbound on Laurelhurst, Bowman said, but detectives have no evidence to corroborate that statement.
Detectives have determined that an altercation between Washington, who did not live at the complex, and two other men broke out sometime before the shooting, but those men have not been identified, Bowman said. Washington was shot near an apartment building and stumbled about 40 feet before collapsing on the ground near a stairwell.
He died at a local hospital. Efforts by the Bee to reach the victim’s family members were unsuccessful.
That night, Bowman issued a press release stating that the motive for the shooting, and the identity of the suspects, was unknown.
“That still stands,” she said today.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at (916) 874-5115 or the tip line at (916) 874-TIPS, or to leave information at www.sacsheriff.com.