Santa Rosa man suspected of shooting his 78-year-old roommate

A 27-year-old man is in jail on suspicion of shooting his 78-year-old roommate about an hour after midnight Monday in Santa Rosa.

Yonas Legesse was booked on suspicion of attempted murder after being arrested by Santa Rosa police near the apartment that he shared with the unnamed victim. Legesse’s roommate is in serious condition at a local hospital, police said.

The victim called 911 at 12:58 a.m. Monday, reporting that he had been shot multiple times by his roommate, Santa Rosa police said in a news release. The roommates shared an apartment in the 1400 block of Hendley Street, near the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in a development managed by Burbank Housing.

As officers arrived, the news release said, they encountered Legesse, identifying him as matching the victim’s description of the shooter. Legesse was arrested without incident, police said.

The victim approached police as they neared the front door of the apartment, police said, bleeding from several gunshot wounds. Officers began medical care and when medical personnel arrived, they took over. The victim was transported a local hospital shortly afterward, police said.

Police said they learned during their investigation Monday that Legesse had made comments earlier in the evening that frightened the victim. A short time after the victim went to bed, police said Legesse opened the bedroom door, shined a light into the room and shot his roommate several times. The victim called the police after Legesse left the room.

Police said detectives with the violent crimes team recovered a gun with an extended magazine during a search of the home.

By Monday afternoon, several tenants of the apartment complex identified a downstairs unit facing Hendley Street as the focus of the detectives’ pre-dawn investigation.

Pieces of yellow crime scene tape hung to posts near the entrance of unit, and dried spots of what looked like blood were splattered on a concrete slab just feet from the front door.

Chris Guy, a resident who has lived at the complex about 25 years, said red and blue lights that crept through his apartment blinds early Monday morning alerted him of the shooting, though he had not heard any gunfire before police arrived.

By the time he made it outside, a white-haired man was being wheeled into an ambulance, Guy said.

“They’re fairly new,” Guy said of the tenants who lived in the unit where the shooting took place. “I saw a bunch of young guys there, but I never knew which one was the actual tenant.”

Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to call the Santa Rosa Police Violent Crimes Team at 707-543-3590 or email at

Legasse is being held on $1 million bail, and is expected to make his initial appearance in Sonoma County Criminal Court Tuesday afternoon.

You can reach Staff Writers Kaylee Tornay at 707-521-5250 or and Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or

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