Mass Shooting in Fresno Leaves 3 Dead, at Least 2 injured

Update – The death toll rose from 1 to 3 after this story was published

FRESNO – An employee at a meat processing plant shot four people and then himself inside the business this morning, leaving one of the victims dead.

Apple Valley Farms

Police received multiple calls around 8:27 a.m. from employees at Valley Protein, formerly known as Apple Valley Farms, saying that someone had shot several people at the poultry processing plant on Hedges Avenue just east of Blackstone Avenue.

Police have identified the shooter as 42-year-old Lawrence Jones, of Fresno, a discharged parolee with an extensive criminal history dating back into the 1990s.

According to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Jones shot four employees at the plant. Officers located a 32-year-old female outside the business who had been shot in the lower back. Inside the business, they found a 34-year-old male who had been shot in the head area, a 28-year-old male who had been shot in the neck, and a 32-year-old male who had been shot to the head and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Officers also found the suspect outside of the plant lying on the sidewalk on Hedges Avenue with a handgun lying next to him. He appeared to have a gunshot wound to the head, Chief Dyer said, but was still alive at that point. He is now in critical condition at the hospital.

Police do not yet know what sparked the mass shooting at the plant where Jones had been employed for the past 14 months. Jones clocked into work around 4:58 a.m. this morning, and according to one of his co-workers, he did not appear to be himself, Dyer said.

“Approximately 3.5 hours later, while he was working near the cold storage portion of the business, he pulled out a handgun and began opening fire on several of his co-workers, striking four of them,” Dyer said. “We’re still trying to determine what led up to that shooing, what provoked these acts from the suspect.”

Shortly after shooting the other employees, Jones walked outside of the business and shot himself.

“We believe there are as many as 30 co-workers that were inside the business that witnessed this incident,” Dyer said. “In total, there were 62 employees inside of Apple Valley Farms that were at this location at the time of this shooting.”

Dyer said that the suspect does not appear to be related to anyone at the plant.

“Lawrence Jones is an African American male. All four victims who were shot are Hispanic,” Dyer said.

Officers are looking to ensure that there were no other victims, such as family members, who were shot before Jones got to work. Dyer said it is difficult to say, at this point, if there was a specific target that Jones was looking for.

“There was something that must have provoked this incident that perhaps occurred today or was building up to today,” Dyer said.

Read More:

Fresno Bee: 3 Dead, Including Gunman in Mass Shooting at Central Fresno Meat Plant

Mass Shooting in Fresno Leaves 3 Dead, at Least 2 injured was last modified: January 11th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Fresno

About Author

Elizabeth Warmerdam

Beth Warmerdam is a freelance journalist based out of Reedley. She graduated from Fresno State in 2004 with a BA in print journalism and has worked for several newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing, Beth enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, trying to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Zachary.