Dos Palos police searched nearly a dozen homes and other locations Monday as the hunt intensified for a 29-year-old man accused of killing his roommate.
Detectives are looking for Omar Villifana, who is suspected in the slaying on Friday of 22-year-old Humbert Cisneros. Little has been made public regarding the motive for the slaying or the details of an argument leading up to the early-morning gun violence.
However, on Monday, police Chief Barry Mann said investigators now believe Cisneros was arguing with one of Villifana’s siblings when Villifana intervened and the fatal shot was fired.
Cisneros was shot and killed about 6:30 a.m. Friday at his home in the 1900 block of South McDonald Avenue. Police said other roommates tried to intervene in the dispute, but Cisneros was shot at least once in the upper body with a small-caliber black pistol. The weapon has not been found and police have described Villifana as “armed and dangerous.”
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A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Officers have not commented on the exact number of gunshots fired. An autopsy was conducted Monday and police hope to have the results back this week.
Detectives on Monday searched nine homes and other places in the Dos Palos area, but were unable to locate Villifana. Mann also said police found evidence that “some people” may have been helping Villifana since the shooting and he cautioned the public.
“We haven’t made a decision yet whether we will seek criminal charges against those people, but anyone who aids or abets a known felon can be charged as an accessory to this crime,” Mann said Monday in a telephone interview.
Mann said he still hopes Villifana will reach out to police and said he remains willing to meet Villifana “at a location of his choosing.”
Police said Cisneros originally was from Firebaugh, where his family lives still. It was unclear how long he lived in Dos Palos.
His death marked the first homicide of 2017 in Merced County.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dos Palos Police Department at 209-392-2174.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482