Police seek Salvadorian in murder case

By Daniel Silliman


Clayton County police have taken out two warrants for a Salvadorian man suspected of murdering his neighbor, but publicly available information is still scarce.

Balvino Heredia Lemus, a 31-year-old from El Salvador, who lived in Jonesboro and worked in Forest Park, is wanted on charges of malice murder and aggravated assault.

He allegedly shot his 27-year-old neighbor, Oscar Brizuela, three times in the chest on Friday night, in front of trailer #30 in a Clayton Mobile Home Park. Lemus then allegedly pointed his gun at a witness and said, "I'll kill you, too," but threw the gun to the ground and ran away.

According to warrant applications filed by Detective Christopher Helton, Lemus "fled on foot and is currently at-large."

Police released the man's picture on Wednesday, along with his correct name and the instructions to "be on the look-out."

The initial police report incorrectly named the suspect as "Valvino Ramos." After a day of investigation, the detective corrected the name and pinned down Lemus' place of work, DAJ Used Auto Sales, in Forest Park, and the wanted man's home phone number. Helton filed a warrant application, adding a handwritten note at the bottom of the page: "I am seeking murder charges."

On Tuesday, four days after the shooting, Helton took out a second warrant, alleging a 34-year-old neighbor had been assaulted by a threat from Lemus, during the get-away.

Little is known, though, about the incidents leading up to the fatal shooting. The court records describe a "verbal argument," but don't give any details.

Witnesses reportedly told police that Brizuela, who lived at trailer #44, drove by Lemus, stopped and rolled down the window of his Nissan Titan and tried to talk to Lemus. The 31-year-old Salvadoran allegedly shouted, "I'll kill you [expletive]."

The murder, Helton wrote, involved "malice both expressed and implied," but the detective didn't mention any motive. It's not clear how the men may have known each other, what their history was, or why Brizuela wanted to talk to Lemus.

Police recovered a gun, a Smith & Wesson, from the ground near where Brizuela was found dead in his car. They said Lemus was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and black pants. He sometimes drives a black, Ford F-150 with the license plate AXT 7368.

Lemus is believed to be between five-foot-seven and six-feet tall, and weighs between 180 and 240 pounds. Anyone with information about the incident or about the whereabouts of the murder suspect, is asked to call Detective Christopher Helton at (770) 477-3781.