By Darrell Todd Maurina
Clovis police said Ricky Gallegos was gunned down Tuesday night after his fiancee escaped out the window of their home, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of Steve Duran, 34, on a charge of open murder, according to Capt. Dan Blair of the Clovis Police Department
Blair said the specifics of the murder charge and therefore the determination of maximum penalties will likely wait until police arrest and interview Duran.
According to police reports, the incident began about 7 p.m. when Gallegos, 47, and Mary Jane Finnell were eating dinner at their home in the 1000 block of Sunrise in south Clovis.
“She stated that Gallegos opened the door and Duran began demanding money from Gallegos. Finnell stated that Duran was stating that Gallegos owed him money and that Gallegos was telling Duran he owed him nothing,” according to the report.
“Finnell stated that they continued to argue and Duran pulled a gun. Finnell stated that Gallegos was telling Duran not to threaten him in his own house. Finnell then stated that she ran and climbed out of a window. Finnell stated that Gallegos threw Duran out of the house and that Duran returned. Finnell stated that she was running to her mother’s house (at a nearby address) when she heard shots fired.”
When police arrived, they found Gallegos lying in a pool of blood on his kitchen floor with Finnell crying next to him. Police found two bullet wounds, they reported, one in the head and one in the shoulder, and at least five shell casings in the kitchen. Finnell was not injured in the incident.
While police had not found Duran Wednesday, they found his car, a 1989 Toyota Forerunner, at the corner of No Name Street and South Oak Street in south Clovis.
“We have no idea where he might be; we’ve been out looking all day (Wednesday) and have gotten a few tips,” Blair said. “Our prime goal right now (is) locating him and arresting him. And we continue with the investigation following any leads we have, reinterviewing witnesses, and as in any case we’re logging in evidence.”
According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter, Duran was convicted more than a decade ago in the fatal stabbing of his father.
“He and his brother and his father were watching a Super Bowl game and got in a fight,” Carter said. “The father went to intervene and was stabbed by Duran.”
The Gallegos shooting appears to be unrelated to the Jan. 4 shooting death of Carlos Murillo, Blair said, but detectives are trying to work on both cases simultaneously.
Murillo was apparently pursued through the streets of Clovis before finally being shot to death.
As with the Murillo case, a reward of up to $1,000 has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the slayings. Blair said anyone with information on the shooting may call him at 769-1921 or, if they want to remain anonymous, may call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 763-7000.