Homicide Investigation

Homicide Investigation
By: CJ Cassidy


oplar bluff man
gunned down
then left on the lawn of an old church overnight

We now know the identity of the man police say was found dead near the intersection of Apple and Garfield Streets: 31-year-old Joseph Bartlett, also known as JB among his friends.

A city utility worker called police after finding Bartlett's body around 8 AM Monday. Police have narrowed down their suspect list, and are looking for one suspect in connection with the shooting.Investigators also say they have a very good understanding of what led to the shooting, and while they wouldn't share details with us just yet, Bartlett's fiancee says she knows exactly what happened.

Norma Garcia was planning a wedding; now she must handle funeral arrangements instead. "I think it was racist because a lot of black people in the hood are very racist of black people and white people dating that's what it really was about," Garcia says.

But while she believes the shooting was racially motivated, she's certain the violence stemmed from a recent argument. "JB told me he got into an argument with a couple of black males. He thought it was squashed or left alone then this crap happens," she says.

Investigators used metal detectors to find evidence at the scene of the crime and say they're looking into all possibilities to track down Bartlett's killer. "We believe not only do you have one person probably responsible for it we have others who were present and we'd like to speak with them to get that witness information from them," Assistant Chief Gary Pride says .

He says the neighborhood where the shooting happened is known for it's drug problem, but wouldn't say if the shooting may have been drug related .

Pride also says he's thankful to residents in the area for their help. "We received excellent information and a considerable amount of cooperation from the community, and we had leads really flowing in," Pride says.

Information a tearful Norma Garcia hopes leads police straight to her fiancee's killer."We always remained best friends and I'm gonna miss him like crazy," she says.

Police hope to get more information about the shooting and ask you to call them if you have any information you think will help.