FRESNO — On Tuesday night around 9 p.m., a Fresno police officer shot and wounded a suspect who was involved in a drive-by shooting earlier that night.
The series of events began when undercover officers located at Mono Avenue and Seventh Street witnessed several shots being fired from a passing pickup truck at a house located at 3706 E. Mono Ave. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said that the drive-by shooting is believed to be related to earlier shootings by taggers.
The plainclothes officers followed the vehicle to Platt Avenue and Fourth Street. When they approached the truck, an armed passenger jumped out and ran toward a house. Dyer said one of the officers opened fire on the suspect, who was attempting to elude police. The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Derick Bowman, was hit in the left arm.
The suspect continued running and tried to hide in a nearby backyard. He was discovered by police with help from a K-9 unit. Officers also found a handgun. Bowman was arrested, along with the two other suspects in the truck, Albert Flores and Nestor Munoz, both 18.
Dyer said that Tuesday night’s shooting is thought to be related to another drive-by shooting that took place Dec. 12 at the same location. A 56-year-old man was hit in the shoulder during that incident. Police were undercover at the location on Mono Avenue on Tuesday night because they expected more violence to occur.
“There are actually several different factions or tagging crews. They align themselves with one another under various names,” Dyer said. “We have a very good feel of who is feuding with whom and who is aligning with whom, and that’s what brought us here (for surveillance).”
Dyer also said that police are anticipating more retaliatory shootings by tagging crews. The department plans to place more undercover officers at “hot spots” around the city.