Friends of Marcus Fisher left him to die alone in the backyard of a north Merced home one year ago.
Fisher, 21, was gunned down, likely by gang members, after violence erupted during a New Year’s Eve party on Derby Drive on Dec. 31, 2013. Investigators believe he was killed about midnight.
Police said they did not find his body until nearly 10 hours later, despite the fact that many of Fisher’s friends were with him when the shooting started and knew he had been killed.
No arrests have been made.
Fisher’s parents, Robert Fisher and Diane Reis, still struggle to understand why so many of their son’s friends refuse to help police identify those responsible for the death.
“He had so many friends. So many people said they were his friends, but they won’t help get him any justice,” Reis said. “I know, because of the gangs, they might be scared. But it’s so hard knowing the people who did this are still out there.”
Merced police Sgt. Rodney Court said investigators need the public’s help to bring the case to a close.
“A lot of people who knew Mr. Fisher know what happened, and a lot of people who live in that neighborhood know what happened,” Court said. “But there’s been a lack of cooperation from witnesses and others who know about the case.”
Fisher and others were chased down by several people described only as Latino men, investigators said, and multiple shots were fired.
Officers were first dispatched to the area about 11:50 p.m. on New Year’s Eve on a report of shots fired. At 12:07 a.m., officers were called back to the area by a resident who said a man was pounding on her front door asking for help, police said.
Police later learned the man, whose name has not been released, was with Fisher when he was killed. After Fisher died, the man ran from the area, found police and asked for a ride, police said.
“He never said a word about his friend having been killed,” Sgt. Scott Skinner said in an interview last year.
Nearly 10 hours passed before someone discovered Fisher’s body. It took several more hours for police to make the connection between Fisher and the man who ran away.
Had police known of the violence, the case could have turned out differently, officers have said, though they doubt Fisher’s life could have been saved because of the severity of his injuries.
Fisher’s death marked the first homicide of 2014, a year that turned out to be the bloodiest in county history, with 32 homicides, many gang related.
The Fishers described their son as a warm, outgoing young man who enjoyed his friends and playing video games.
The Fishers’ other son, Mathew, also was shot and killed at a house party last year, possibly involving gang members outside of Atwater. Marcus Fisher was with Matthew when he died. Two people have been arrested in connection with the death of Mathew Fisher. That case is pending in Merced Superior Court.
Although police have described both Fisher brothers as being associated with gangs, their parents deny either was a gang member.
“We just want justice for Marcus,” Reis said. “He deserves justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Chris Russell of the Merced Police Department at (209) 385-4704. Tips are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.
Sun-Star staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or email@example.com.