Man shot, killed in southwest Bakersfield

Man shot, killed in southwest Bakersfield »Play Video
Javier Meraz is seen in a photo from his Facebook profile. Meraz was fatally shot Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Bakersfield, Calif.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Neighbors on the 100 block of Griffiths Street were jolted from their sleep around 3 a.m. Sunday by the sound of gunshots, followed by police and emergency sirens.

"I saw lights. That's when I got up and noticed the cops were right here," said “Kelly,” who shares a fence with the home where the shooting happened. "You live around areas, you don't even know what could be around you."

The Kern County Sheriff's Office said 23-year-old Javier Meraz had gunshot wounds to his hands and lower torso. Meraz was transported to Kern Medical Center, where he later died.

The sheriff’s office investigation revealed Meraz was involved in a physical altercation at the home before he was shot. Witnesses report a group of men ran from the home and got in a light-colored late-model vehicle after the loud gunshot.

"I was lying in bed, I heard a couple gunshots, three gunshots. My dogs started going off, and then you heard the car take off," said neighbor Tyler Williams. "We saw the guy get taken out in the ambulance a little later."

Anyone having information on this shooting is asked to contact the sheriff's office at (661) 861-3110 or contact Secret Witness at 322-4040. Anonymous text tips can be sent to TIP411 (847411). Type the keyword "KCSO" prior to the message.