McFarland’s first homicide of the year leaves one man dead on his way to store

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – McFarland’s first homicide of the year abruptly ends the life of one local man on his way to a store, last Friday. 

William Joseph Lara, 36, was on his way to a local store near his home on 5th Street, just before 7 p.m. but never made it, the family says. 

“He had barely turned the corner from what I seen and some black car drove up,” William’s father, Apolinar Lara, told 17 News. 

McFarland Police responded to calls about shots fired in the 400th block of 5th Street near Kern Avenue State Preschool. When officers arrived, they found the body of the 36-year-old laying on the sidewalk suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. 

The family says that although Lara had ran into trouble with the law in the past, he was in the process of turning his life around. Prior to his death, Lara had turned himself in to Kern County Teen Challenge in Shafter– a residential substance abuse recovery and prevention program. But according to the family, Lara quickly returned back home because he disliked the program.  

“He seemed like he wanted to go back,” Lara’s father said. “He was trying to get his life straight right before this had happened; he was a good guy.”

The family told to 17 News they have fear knowing that their son’s killer is still on the loose.

“The neighborhood was actually safer before,” Lara said. “A lot of people have surveillance cameras on their houses now.”

Lara was the oldest child and lived with his grandmother who raised him most of his life. During this difficult time, the family says they are thankful for the communities support and ask that any donations be given to the McFarland Family Funeral Home. 

At this time, the investigation is still ongoing.

If you have any information regarding this case, you are urged to call McFarland PD at 661-792-2121.

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