FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – Authorities say ten people were shot, and four are dead after a suspect opened fire as a family gathered at an east central Fresno home Sunday night.
Officers were called to a home on Lamona Avenue near Ceasar Avenue, located about three blocks south of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport at 7: 48 pm on Sunday .
Fresno Police say around 30 people were at the house having a party to watch a football game on television. The gathering was described as peaceful and quiet before the shots rang out.
Investigators say that at least two suspects entered the backyard from the side of the house and opened fire, using semi-automatic pistols, on the 16 men that were in the yard. The people in the yard say they did not see the suspects, only flashes of light from the guns. Because of that, Fresno Police have not been able to provide a description of the suspects.
The other people inside the home, which included women and children, were not injured.
Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall says the shooters targeted the house but didn’t seem to pick out specific victims. He noted some of the members attending the party were linked to a “disturbance” last week, also described as a fight, but was vague on the details of the incident.
Hall was not aware of any connection between the victims and gangs, but he announced a new Asian gang task force, in part, because of the upcoming Hmong holiday that draws thousands to Fresno every year.
“We haven’t seen a spike in Asian gang violence in awhile. And we’re starting to see it now as we’re heading into the Hmong new year celebration. We just want to get ahead of it, “Hall said.
Hall cited three Asian gang incidents this month and 11 this year, although he wouldn’t say there’s a direct connection between any of them and the mass shooting Sunday nig
One of the incidents was a homicide Sunday morning, about 14 hours before gunmen targeted the party. Investigators say it also involved two shooters who had a specific target in mind.
“When they opened the door, they entered the residence and held the occupants at gunpoint,” Hall said. “It appears they were looking for an individual inside the apartment.”
Hall added that the people who lived at the house have been very cooperative, and no weapons were found at
On Sunday night, five of the victims were taken to be treated at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno, and one victim was taken to Saint Agnes Medical Center in northeast Fresno for treatment. CRMC officials say of the shooting victims it received, three are in critical condition and two have been treated and released. The victim taken to St. Mary’s Church Agnes was grazed by a bullet.
“On behalf of the entire team, our thoughts and deepest sympathies with the patients and their families impacted by the tragic incident that occurred on Sunday evening, “said UCSF trauma surgeon Dr. Amy Kwok. “It’s difficult. We see this on a daily basis. And It’s not getting better, but this is what we are trained to do, and so mentally and skillfully this is what we are trained to do.”
When officers arrived, they found three people who had already died from their injuries. The fourth victim died at a hospital.
Pao Yang, a Hmong community representative and CEO of The Fresno Center, said that two of the victims are well-known singers in the Hmong community.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office hasidentified the victimsas 23 – year-old Xy Lee, 31 – year-old Phia Vang, 38 – Year- old Kou Xiong, and 40 – year-old Kalaxang Thao, all lived in Fresno.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced late Sund ay night that it would be sending agents from its San Francisco field office to assist in the investigation of the shooting.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand released a statement in response to the mass shooting:
“My prayers go out to the victims and their families, along with the promise that those responsible for this horrific crime will face the full force of justice. The City of Fresno will not tolerate this type of violence in any of our neighborhoods. We will add whatever resources that are necessary to find those responsible. This senseless tragedy does not define us – rather, our response and unity as a community will and I have complete confidence in our collective resolve. “
California State Senator Andreas Borgeas responded to the shooting on Twitter:
I am saddened by the disturbing and senseless act of violence tonight in Southeast Fresno. My heart is with the family and their loved ones.https: // t.co/G6qQXFfHx0
— Andreas Borgeas (@SenatorBorgeas) *********** (November) , 2019
Thank you to all those who are reaching out in support of# Fresnoduring this time.
– Andreas Borgeas (@SenatorBorgeas) (November) , 2019
Fresno prosecutor and mayoral candidate Andrew Janz also tweeted:
We are closely monitoring an alleged mass shooting in Fresno this evening. We are praying for peace and calm as we continue to investigate. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. -AJ
– Andrew Janz (@JanzAndrew)November 18, 2019
Thank you to those who have reached out in support of# Fresno. The shooting is still under investigation. We are told at least four people have been killed. Rest assured we will bring those responsible to justice. – AJ
– Andrew Janz (@JanzAndrew) (November) , 2019
The Central California Blood Center is asking all eligible donors in the Central Valley to donate blood at their local donation center. It says Sunday night’s mass shooting “gravely” impacted blood inventory.
Last night our community was hit with a senseless tragedy which left four dead and many others injured. At this time, we are asking all eligible blood donors to please come out today or as soon as possible to donate at a blood center or mobile drive near you.pic.twitter.com/AqOMOIPlXN
– CenCABloodCenter (@CenCABlood) (November) , 2019
To find a donation center near youclick here.
This is a developing story. Stay with Action News for updates.
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