FARGO — Two weeks after a Fargo man was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting at an apartment complex on the west side of the city, police have not made an arrest in the case.
Investigators are still talking with witnesses and gathering evidence that could help them determine who shot 41-year-old Santino Manjadit Makur Marial, said Lt. Chris Helmick, head of investigations for the Fargo Police Department.
Police don’t know whether the shooting shortly before 10:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at Cheyenne Estates, 1104 44th St. S., was random or targeted, Helmick said.
“We don’t have a lot of information yet that we can release, but we also don’t have enough information right now that we would be comfortable putting out asking for the public’s help on it either,” Helmick said.
Police spokeswoman Jessica Schindeldecker said the department can’t provide information on possible suspects since the investigation is active. “Until a suspect is in custody, there is still a potential threat to other people,” she said.
A GoFundMe account set up to help pay for Marial's funeral expenses says he was with others having a good time in front of his friend’s garage when someone drove by and opened fire.
Police said officers found Marial with an apparent gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Marial had two young daughters, parents and siblings, the GoFundMe page said. His funeral service was set for Saturday, Sept. 12, according to his obituary.
Flowers have been left between two rows of garages on the northwest side of the apartment complex. What appears to be a bullet hole can be seen in a nearby garage door.
Police have asked anyone with information on the shooting to call 701-235-4493.
Solving a crime doesn’t always happen as fast as portrayed on television, Helmick said. Some cases, especially homicide investigations, can take months or years to close with a conviction in court, he said. Finding people who know what may have happened to a victim can drag out investigations.
“There are really three things we are trying to figure out with these crimes: the who, the why and how,” he said. When the who or how is not immediately known, "it really becomes a puzzle for us," he added.
An investigation doesn’t end when a suspect is charged, Helmick said. Detectives conduct follow-up interviews, listen to jail phone calls and continue to analyze data as they prepare for trials.
Earlier this month, a Fargo detective testified he was waiting on ballistic evidence that could show which guns fired how many shots in the May 26 fatal shooting of 39-year-old Anquine Lamont White in north Fargo.
“Once we make an arrest, that’s just the beginning of that,” Helmick said.
Detectives have to make sure they have a solid case against a suspect before charges are brought against them, he said.
“There’s a lot of time and personal investment done by the detectives,” he said. “They want to do justice for the victim.”