The firebombing occurred around 3 a.m according to police chief Jerry Dyer. The female police officer had just gotten home from her work shift an hour before the attack on her home occurred according to Dyer.
Along with the officer, there was another woman and three children also inside the home when several Molotov cocktails were thrown at the house. Minor to moderate damage occurred inside and outside the home and the house is now boarded up. However, no one was injured according to Dyer. Next door neighbors actually helped the officer and the other people inside the home to escape the attack.
The police chief and other investigators are currently trying to piece together any possible connection to the firebombing, which will also include the female officer’s recent cases.
“We are looking into whether or not she was specifically targeted, and whether or not she was specifically targeted because she’s a police officer,” Dyer said.
The interim police chief did not reveal the woman’s name, and also declined to give out the address to where she lived.
While police officer homes in Fresno has been frequently threatened in the past according to Dyer, especially when thieves are seeking out guns or armor, a firebombing at a police officer’s home is a rare case for Dyer.
“I can’t remember an incident where we had a police officer’s house targeted and firebombed,” he said. “Its very concerning for us if, in fact, this officer was targeted because she’s a female police officer.”
Dyer is also uncertain if a recent arson fire back on Aug. 17 also has the same connection to the northwest Fresno home attack. A patrol vehicle was one of two cars targeted by an arsonist on the cross streets of Tuolumne and C Street. The arson fire occurred at the Southwest Fresno Police District Station. Dyer did say that none of the two vandalized vehicles were connected to the female police officer, but the police station also happens to be where she works.
The department is taking steps to help create more safety and comfort for the female officer, which includes security surveillance cameras and other safety measures to ensure her home doesn’t receive any additional harm.
The two arson incidents have also prompted Dyer to place every single one of his officers on high alert for more potential attacks in the future.