FRESNO – A drive-by suspect was sent to the hospital early Monday morning after officers shot and wounded him in Central Fresno.
Around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, a drive-by shooting was reported in the 400 block of North Valeria Street, just south of Belmont Avenue. One man was shot during the incident and taken to Community Regional Medical Center. He is expected to recover, authorities said.
Witnesses described the car involved in the shooting as a White Buick Century.
Just after midnight, officers located the car at a gas station near Belmont and Abby. Another vehicle was also at the gas pump with the car suspected to be part of the drive-by, said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Officers called for backup and approached the vehicles, asking the occupants to get out of the car. The suspects were uncooperative and the suspect sitting in the front passenger seat reached for the car’s console, according to the police.
At that point, officers opened fire and the passenger was struck by a bullet. The suspect was taken to the Community Regional Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening.
At this point, details of both the drive-by shooting and the officer-involved shooting are still being put together, but Dyer believes that there may have been gang motivations.
“What we do know is that it appears all the suspects in both vehicles are associates of one another’s, or it appears to be. And in fact, there are occupants of both the vehicles that belong to a west Fresno gang,” Dyer said.
Dyer said that police recovered a handgun from the vehicle that the shot suspect was in. Police also recovered a rifle in the other vehicle. Seven people from the two vehicles were detained.
The five officers who fired their weapons – a lieutenant, a sergeant, and three officers – have been placed on paid administrative leave, pending on investigation.
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