At 7:20 pm on Wednesday, dispatchers with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency phone call from a home on the 600 block of Marie St. in Mendota.
A woman on the phone was in distress, telling dispatchers a man is in her house and threatening to kill her. Just as he began to attack her with a knife, Mendota Police officers entered the home and saw the suspect on top of the woman, trying to stab her. At 7:28 pm, one officer fired his gun, striking the suspect. Officers immediately administered first aid and helped get the suspect transported to the hospital. He died in the ambulance during the drive to the hospital. He was later identified as 31 year old Javiel Lainez Zavala of Mendota.
Mendota Police requested the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office take over the investigation. Homicide detectives and members of the Crime Scene Unit responded to the area.
Detectives learned the victim and Zavala were in an on and off again dating relationship. The victim is in her early 40s and she suffered a minor injury.
Anyone with additional information to help with this investigation is asked to please contact Detective Jose Diaz at (559) 600-8204 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, www.valleycrimestoppers.org You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone involved in a domestic violence relationship to seek help. Turn to family, friends or law enforcement to get you to a safe place. Free resources such as the Marjaree Mason Center (MMC) are also available to help you escape the cycle of violence. MMC can be reached at its 24 hour crisis hotline by dialing 559-233-HELP (4357).