Police identified the suspect as Demarcus Vega.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, police chief Paco Balderrama said Vega had “made admissions to his involvement” in the robbery and murder of Perez.
Chief Balderrama said the motive for the shooting is unknown, and it’s also unclear if Vega is a gang member. He had several active warrants at the time of his arrest.
Officers found several firearms after detaining multiple people Wednesday night, including one they believe was used to kill Perez.
Vega’s arrest was a message to other criminals who victimized street vendors like Perez, said Balderrama.
“The Fresno Police Department is certainly not going to put up with this type of violence in the community and the message I want to send is that for anybody who is thinking of assaulting, murdering any innocent person such as Mr. Perez, we will find you and we’re going to lock you up,” he added.
This is the sixth robbery of a street vendor in Fresno in the last year, and the second in which the vendor was killed. Another vendor, 53-year-old Jose Luis Rivera known simply as the ‘corn man’, was shot and killed in central Fresno in November.