Long Beach
Police Department

Media Relations
400 W. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 570-5273
3/18/2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release #
Subject:
*UPDATE* MURDER INVESTIGATION ARREST - 14TH STREET AND PALMER COURT
Contact:
Communications Division
562.570.5273
LBPDMediaRelations@longbeach.gov





UPDATE 3/18/2024 

Homicide detectives have identified a suspect responsible for the Oct. 22, 2023 murder of Thomas Ferguson, a 33-year-old resident of Fontana. 

Through their investigation, Homicide detectives identified Joseph Ballard, a 23-year-old resident of Long Beach, as the suspect. Ballard was arrested on Nov.17, 2023, for an unrelated case. He was later sentenced to state prison. 

On Feb. 7, 2024, detectives presented the murder case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, who filed an arrest warrant on Ballard for murder. On March 18, 2024, Special Investigations Division detectives transported Ballard from state prison to Long Beach City Jail where he was booked for the outstanding murder warrant. He will be arraigned on the murder charge later this week.  

Detectives believe Ballard was involved in an altercation with Ferguson that escalated into a shooting. At this time, it is unknown if they previously knew each other. 
 
Detectives believe there were multiple people in or near 14th Street Park when the shooting occurred and are seeking the public’s assistance for any additional information. 

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Jesus Espinoza or Alfredo Chairez at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the "P3 Tips" app to your smartphone (available at the Apple app store or Google Play), or by visitingwww.lacrimestoppers.org. 

Originally Published 10/23/2023

Homicide detectives are investigating a murder that occurred on Oct. 22, 2023, in the area of 14th Street and Palmer Court, which resulted in the death of a male adult.

On Oct. 22, 2023, at approximately 2:34 p.m., officers responded to the area of 14th Street and Long Beach Boulevard to assist the Long Beach Fire Department with a report of a gunshot wound victim.

Upon arrival, officers located a male adult victim on the ground, near 14th Street and Palmer Court, who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. Officers rendered medical aid and attempted life-saving measures until being relieved by Long Beach Fire Department personnel. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Homicide detectives responded to the scene to investigate the incident. Through their preliminary investigation, detectives determined the victim was inside 14th Street Park when he was shot. The suspect fled the scene before police arrived.

The victim has been identified as Thomas Ferguson, a 33-year-old resident of the city of Fontana.

The motive for the shooting and circumstances of the incident are still under investigation. Detectives believe there were multiple people in or near 14th Street Park when the shooting occurred and are seeking the public’s assistance for any additional information.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Jesus Espinoza or Alfredo Chairez at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the "P3 Tips" app to your smartphone (available at the Apple app store or Google Play), or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org