FRESNO – Officers shot and killed a man who jumped into a school yard while armed with a handgun on Wednesday afternoon.
Jaime Reyes, 29, a Bulldog gang member on parole, was fatally wounded when an officer opened fire on him on the campus of Aynesworth Elementary School around 3:20 p.m.
The incident began as officers were investigating Reyes in connection to a semi-automatic handgun that had been stolen during a recent burglary. Police received a report on Wednesday morning that indicated Reyes was attempting to sell a stolen firearm in the 4900 block of East Burns Avenue.
Police went to Reyes’ home to conduct a search. Reyes was not there, but family members told the officers that Reyes had a gun on him when they last saw him that morning. Police then began a search for Reyes to arrest him for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Officers found Reyes near Aynesworth Elementary School at Church and Chestnut avenues. Police notified the school of the situation, and Aynesworth was put on lockdown. Although school was not in session, students were on campus for after-school programs.
When officers confronted Reyes, the suspect put his hands near the waistband of his pants. Officers told the suspect to show them his hands, but he refused, and instead jumped the fence onto the Aynesworth campus.
“Unfortunately, when a suspect makes a decision to jump a fence and go onto a school campus while armed with a firearm, it creates a great concern for the officers, not only for their safety, but especially for the safety of the students,” Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
Once on the campus, the suspect again reached into his waistband, where officers noticed an object that they believed to be a gun, Dyer said. Fearing for their safety and the safety of the children on campus, an officer fired four rounds at Reyes. Reyes was hit by at least one of the bullets and died at Community Regional Medical Center less than an hour after being shot.
Officers found a .45 caliber handgun wrapped in a plastic bag in Reyes’ waistband. The gun was not loaded.
No children or teachers were hurt during the incident, and Aynesworth was taken off of lockdown around 3:30 p.m.
“To our knowledge, no students actually witnessed the shooting, and the actual field of the fire from the officers when they fired at the subject was not toward the actual school buildings,” Dyer said.
Fresno Bee: Police fatally shoot suspect at southeast Fresno school
SFGate: Fresno police shoot suspect on school campus