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Police Seek Clues in Suspected Murder of North Fork Man

Michael Smith (photo courtesy Fresno Police Department)

FRESNO — Area law enforcement investigators are asking for the public’s help in trying to solve the apparent shooting death earlier this week of a North Fork man. Police believe the murder occurred Tuesday in central Fresno.

According to Fresno County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Tony Botti, police initially thought that they were responding to a traffic collision when they arrived at an accident scene shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday night near the intersection of Dakota and Thorne avenues near the Garden Square Apartments.

When paramedics arrived, they found that Michael Smith, 31, had been shot in the chest. He was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center but subsequently died of his injuries, Botti confirmed.

Lt. Larry Bowlan, an investigator with Fresno PD, told the Fresno Bee on Friday that police still don’t know where the shooting took place but believe it happened close to the accident scene.

In a press release detailing the incident, Smith was initially identified as a resident of Cool in El Dorado County but investigators later confirmed he’d recently been living in the North Fork area.

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867.

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