Sanger man, 69, victim of suspected homicide

James Buford was found with a gunshot wound on July 19 near Winton Park, died later at a Fresno hospital

By Mid Valley Times Staff
Published July 21, 2023  • 
10:00 am
Crime scene tape in the foreground with a blurred police car in the background at a crime scene.

FRESNO COUNTY – Fresno County Sheriff’s Office detectives are continuing to investigate the death of a 69-year-old Sanger man who was found shot and critically wounded near Winton Park, in the foothills northeast of Sanger. The case is being treated as a homicide.

Sanger resident James Buford, 69, was identified as the victim of a suspected homicide near Winton Park on July 19. He was found shot and critically wounded near near the park. Buford, who was hired as a custodian caretaker to provide on-site security at the park, died at a Fresno hospital a short time after he was discovered. (Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as James Buford on July 21. According to reports, Buford was working at the park as a contracted worker for Fresno County. Buford served as a camp host, and was a custodian caretaker hired to provide on-site security for the park. 

Around 10:30 p.m. in the late evening of July 19, law enforcement received a call from a utility worker who found Buford injured near Piedra and Elwood roads. Emergency medical personnel, Cal Fire and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the scene and found Buford just outside Winton Park along Piedra Road. He was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, where he later died.

Detectives have not identified any suspects in the case, and a motive for Buford’s murder is unknown. The sheriff’s office said the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who may have information about the cast is asked to contact Detective Rudy Tafoya at 559-600-8207, or Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867 (STOP). Tipsters to Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Mid Valley Times Staff