About 12:30AM on June 9, 2020, five separate incidents were reported regarding a man pointing a gun at motorists on Blackstone and Barstow Avenues. The first officer to arrive made contact with the suspect and reported a gun in the suspect’s right hand.
The suspect ignored commands from the officer and continued eastbound on Barstow. Two assisting officers arrived from the east and were also ignored by the suspect to stop, drop the weapon, and get on the ground. The two officers believed the advancing suspect was armed and, fearing for their safety, opened fire.
The suspect was stuck three times: once in the right arm and twice in the lower extremities. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries. After being struck, he complied and laid on the ground. As he was taken into custody, it was discovered the dark object in his right hand was a cellphone.
The suspect was treated at Community Regional Medical Center. While at the hospital, he spontaneously made statements about wanting to die and wanting to have been killed by officers. The suspect was released from the hospital the next day with an issued citation for resisting and delaying officers.
The involved officers have been put on administrative duties while the criminal investigation continues. The incident is also being reviewed by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the Office of Independent Review, the Department’s Internal Affairs Unit, and State and Federal agencies.
It has been noted a total of nine witnesses, including a Fresno Fire Fighter, stated they observed the suspect pointing a firearm at them.
The Fresno Chief of Police, Andrew Hall, has released the 911 recordings, FAX bus-shelter video, and body camera from a witnessing officer. He states “This is yet another example of a failed system that has neglected to address homelessness, mental health, and drug and alcohol addictions until it manifests itself into a police action.”