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Police: Fresno murder-suicide sparked by dog dispute

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fresno Police are investigating a murder suicide involving two neighbors. Police say the violent ending happened after a long dispute between two men.

Franko Cardoza of Fresno was shot around 5:30 p.m. Thursday night. The deadly incident began as an argument at a gated community in Northwest Fresno -- on West near Vartikian. Fresno Police say they found the 74-year-old shooter an hour and a half later at River Park in North Fresno.

Police detectives continue to investigate the incident Friday after spending hours Thursday night at the first crime scene.

Neighbors say the victim and the suspect lived in the Bullard West condominium complex for several years. Both are very well known in the community. One owns a floral shop and the other is an insurance salesman. But Fresno Police say those two men reached a boiling point after years of arguing over a dog.

Inside the gates of the Bullard West condominium complex, Fresno Police say 59-year-old Franko Cardoza was shot in the leg outside his condo. As he tried to get back into his home, he was shot in the back of the head, and died.

"We're sad that anybody could be attacked like that, so violently," said neighbor Paula Fansler.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the shooter was 74-year-old Dan Andersen -- Cardoza's neighbor. "There's an ongoing dispute. A 74-year-old white male and the 59-year-old Hispanic male over the 59-year-old's dog."

Thursday evening, Cardoza's dog apparently ended up in the Andersen's yard. That argument, Dyer and neighbors say, had been happening for years.

After the shooting Andersen left the complex. Police tracked him down to River Park in North Fresno an hour and a half later. "The vehicle drove into the parking lot, the officers pulled around in front of the vehicle to block his escape route and parked in front of the vehicle," said Dyer.

That's when police say he shot and killed himself.

"They're both hotheaded, both of them," said neighbor Sheila Smith.

Sheila Smith says both of the men served on the complex's home owner's board. She said they had argued before. She saw Anderson holding his gun and confronted him. "I said 'Quit shooting, you're scaring my parents, they're 90 years old.'"

Skip Sargenti says he still cannot understand how an argument over a dog could lead to a murder. "It's a wake up call, it can happen anywhere at anytime."

Action News has learned that Franko Cardoza was the owner of Franko's Full Bloom Floral Shop at nearby Bullard and West. We've also learned that the suspect Dan Andersen is a well known insurance salesman.

Chief Dyer says at this point its not clear whether police ever had to be called in for past arguments over the dog between the two men.

The whole incident started at the condo complex, but it continued to River Park. That's where detectives say the 74-year-old suspect, Dan Andersen parked his car and took his own life.

About an hour and a half after the shooting, officers spotted his car right outside the Macaroni Grill. As they approached Andersen, he took out a gun and shot himself.

This happened around 7 o'clock Thursday night, when both the restaurant and parking lot were busy. There were about 30 customers inside Macaroni Grill at the time. But, depending on where they parked, many were told they couldn't leave.

"I was already aware of it, and then our waiters came over and told us that something was going on outside. They weren't specific and that if we were parked within a taped area, that we weren't allowed to leave and that no one else would be coming into the restaurant," said Tracy Sadler.

"We couldn't get out cause our families car was right literally in the car was, where the guy killed himself, or whatever happened, was blocked by that car," said Lourie Rowe.

The scene was eventually cleared just after 9 o'clock Thursday night -- which is when some people were finally able to get to their cars.

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Tags:
murder-suicide, fresno northwest, fresno, fresno county, local, tommy tran
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