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Homicide in the Foothills

Crime scene
Crime scene
Gar Swaffar

Today, Feb. 16, 2014 a well liked Sonora resident and businessman was shot near his place of business. Rick Roberts was an auto body mechanic. Roberts was also a demolition derby car driver with fans and opponents, but few in the community would disagree regarding Roberts' good hearted nature and concern for others.

According to Sonora Police and unnamed sources, today at approximately 11:00 a.m. a report was received by Police of a person who was "down". The location of the incident is 280 Mono Way in Sonora, Ca.

Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson is reportedly not calling it a homicide at this time, however, the person was deceased. An investigative team has been called in from Sacramento to aid local authorities.

On Monday February 17, 2014 the Sonora Police Department released the information that this incident is being investigated as a homicide.
Responding officers yesterday found Mr. Roberts in his auto body shop bleeding from at least one gunshot wound. When medics arrived, Roberts was pronounced deceased from his wounds.
The California Department of Justice plus the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office are providing assistance with the ongoing investigation.

Roberts was also a member of Sonora's Police Associate Citizen’s Team (PACT), and active in the Police Explorer program. Beyond his accomplishments in business, Roberts was well regarded in the community at large.

The investigation focus going forward will be to find out who committed the crime, this is the first homicide in Sonora since 2001.

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