MILPITAS -- Reports of gunfire Tuesday night brought officers to a chaotic scene in the parking lot of a budget hotel, where a young man was shot and killed to become the year's first homicide in a city where such crimes are very rare.

Multiple people called 911 around 10:30 p.m., said Milpitas police Lt. Sandy Holliday, and arriving officers found numerous guests outside the Executive Inn Hotel on Dempsey Road, some in hysterics.

"There were people screaming and crying," Holliday said. "We found a man's body on the ground with what appears to be one bullet wound to the face."

She said the man, described as being in his early to mid 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene about 15 minutes later. He was "very unresponsive" when emergency crews first arrived.

Holliday said detectives were talking to numerous guests at the hotel, and some witnesses were taken to police headquarters to be interviewed. Late Tuesday, the only available lead was a dark-colored sedan seen departing the scene. No suspects were in custody, and the shooter is believed to have fled the area, Holliday said.

"Right now we don't know if it was gang-related or drug related or how the suspects even play into the whole call," she said, adding that more information might be available after the detectives finish conducting interviews.

It was not immediately known if the victim was a guest at the hotel.


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Last year the city had a single homicide, a baseball bat attack that occurred at the Sports Authority store at the Great Mall on June 7. In that case, Nathaniel Manlangit, 26, was found to be not guilty by reason of insanity last week.

Follow Eric Kurhi at Twitter.com/erickurhi.