Recent Spike in Officer Involved Shootings

December 22, 2008 2:10:08 PM PST
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Sheriff Margaret Mims joined forces to speak about the increasing dangers their officers are facing. After three shootings involving law-enforcement officers happened in just eight days.The first incident happened last Saturday, January 26th, near Clovis and Ashlan Avenues.

Then, on Tuesday, a shooting involving a Highway Patrol Officer at First and Shaw sent several schools into lock-down.

This past Friday, officers took fire near McKinley and Maple.

Two of last week's shootings involved Fresno Police Officers.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says that number is disturbing, considering last year, there were only four officer involved shootings the entire year.

Both he and the Fresno County Sheriff say these confrontations with police are on the rise because their officers are targeting the right people.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims joined together Monday, saying they're seeing an increased number of gang members and criminals who are armed, and ready to kill their officers.

Chief Jerry Dyer: "I would venture to say that OIS are not out of control, but violence against officers is out of control."

The comments followed three officer involved shootings in a single one week period

The most recent happened Friday, February first, when Fresno Police Officers came under fire as they investigated a drive by shooting.

Earlier in the week, an officer from another agency was also shot at...after he confronted a suspect in Northeast Fresno.

On Saturday, January 26th Fresno police officers shot and killed Sylvestor Taylor.

Police say they had been following him since this January 17th robbery of a convenience store.

Mims and Dyer say they're seeing an increase in officer involved shootings because they're putting their officers in the right place at the right time, and being proactive in their policing.

Jerry Dyer: "For example, we had intelligence regarding Sylvester Taylor, we committed resources and entire team to follow this individual proactively, to prevent any further violence from occurring. And as a result we ultimately confront him during an armed robbery."

Sheriff Margaret Mims: "We are keeping additional victims from being victimized. If we can catch them first, if we can intercede on behalf of the citizens of Fresno County, then we are doing our jobs."

The suspect in Friday's shooting has been identified as Mike Fang.

He was injured when Fresno Police Officers returned fire on him and is listed in critical condition at a Fresno hospital.

He's facing charges including the attempted murder of a police officer.


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