FRESNO – Two teenage brothers were arrested for the murder of two other teenagers that happened earlier this week in northwest Fresno.
Police announced on Thursday that Jarrad Beard, 19, and his 16-year-old brother, who has not been named due to his age, have each been charged with two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of Justin Hesketh, 18, and Brandon Moore, 16, both of Fresno.
The incident happened on the night of Dec. 20 at the intersection of Herndon and Polk avenues. Police say that Hesketh was driving his pickup west on Herndon with Moore and another teen as passengers. They were stopped at the intersection, waiting to turn left onto Polk Avenue when four teens walked across the crosswalk in front of them.
No words were exchanged between the two groups of teenagers, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. Instead, what was exchanged was described as “mean looks.” The pickup started to pull forward, but one of the teens on foot pulled out a gun.
“Jarrad Beard pulled out a handgun and fired it at the pickup as it drove past them, striking the left front tire,” Dyer said.
Hesketh and Moore thought that he had been hit by a rock and pulled over to take action against the other teens, Dyer said. The other passenger waited in the truck. Hesketh and Moore chased the four suspects and were able to catch up to one of the members of the group on the grounds the Palo Alto Apartment Complex.
“They were attempting to hold him when both Jarrad Beard and his 16-year-old brother pulled out handguns and began firing at Hesketh and Moore,” Dyer said.
Seven shots were fired, Dyer said, and the two teens were hit several times. Hesketh died at the scene and Moore died overnight at the hospital.
“This was a senseless act of violence,” Dyer said.
Police found Beard and his brother on Wednesday night at a relative’s house, where they also recovered two handguns and ammunition. Dyer said both brothers confessed to the shootings. The younger brother also wrote a letter of apology, Dyer said.
The two suspects do not have prior criminal records. However, Dyer said that Beard and his brother were both gang members and “clearly ready to do violence.”
Hesketh and Moore were not involved in any gangs.
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