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The Jefferson County Coroner identified a Hispanic man found shot inside a burning home in the early hours of Friday, Nov. 4.
Sebedeo Mendez Nunez, 27, of Bessemer, was found in his mobile home in the 400 block of Weaver Drive at 4:22 a.m. First responders found the body with the Eastern Valley Fire Department after they extinguished a fire at the residence.
Nunez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jefferson County Coroner Bill Yates said deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office were called to investigate the death.
"The decedent was found to have sustained a gunshot wound injury during a reported assault," the coroner's report stated.
The Hispanic news site LIDER News Alabama posted about the story and many commenters voiced concerns about the handling of investigations involving Hispanics.
"What a misfortune, and unfortunately, because of being Hispanic, the police do nothing to investigate and find the culprits," said Chriisty Mtz.
Dozens of others shared that sentiment on the LIDER News Facebook page.
"A large part of the Hispanic community in Alabama clearly expresses how they are ignored by the authorities," said Adriana Sanchez, the news director for LIDER News. "The feeling is that for them a crime against a Hispanic is not a priority, they do not respond to them, they do not follow up or help them as they do with someone born in Alabama."
Sanchez said there is no one city or county that Hispanics are concerned about, but she said they feel their cases are not treated as a priority in general.
In a 2022 survey, 53% of Hispanic voters said they feel "very concerned" about gun violence in their communities, a higher percentage than any other race polled.
A study by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reported that some Hispanic victims of crimes or witnesses of crimes could be impacting the results of investigations themselves. The study found that participants reported they do not always speak to authorities due to "personal or vicarious discrimination" and their unwillingness to engage and trust those outside their community.
The sheriff's office has not announced an arrest in the shooting death of Nunez but asked anyone with information to contact them at (205) 325-1450, option two. Witnesses can also report information via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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