PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Police in Petaluma are searching for a suspect while investigating that city's first homicide in several years. It happened early Sunday morning in the downtown area. Authorities say the victim was assaulted, possibly with a baseball bat.
Many locals were shocked to hear about a rare violent crime in downtown Petaluma.
Police say early Sunday morning, a man was found lying in the middle of Keller Street, after being assaulted. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
"Early this morning 1:49 a.m., we got a call of a possible fight downtown, the person said his friend got struck with a baseball bat," said Petaluma Police Lieutenant Tim Lyons.
Police don't know what led up to the violent assault, a suspect is still at large.
"No one was seen running away on foot, we think suspect fled in a vehicle, no vehicle description at this time," said Lyons.
The victim's relatives learned the terrible news at the Petaluma police station.
"Sadness. My condolences to the family, sadness for the community we deal with more and more," said Petaluma resident Nicole Ward.
This crime is all the more shocking, considering the last homicide was in 2017.
"I think it's shocking, we've lived here five years, low crime is one of the things we liked about the area," said Chris Cherry.
Police believe the victim and his attacker may have come from a local bar or nightclub.
"The bars are getting out, in the past we've some type of disturbance, it's probably somehow related to that," said Lyons.
Police are looking for surveillance video from businesses which could provide clues about the crime and the suspect.
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