Gunfight Kills One, Leads to Officer Involved Shooting

October 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An early morning gunfight in southeast Fresno killed one man Sunday morning, injured another, and ended with a third being shot by a Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy.The shooting happened just before 4 a.m. in front of a home at Weldon and Cedar, where evidence markers covered the sidewalks of the home Sunday afternoon.

Elizabeth Ramos lives next door. "We heard the gunshots, I got scared. So I just told my daughter in law and granddaughter to get in the room," said Ramos.

Ramos says she and her son rushed outside before deputies arrived and saw two shooting victims but fear kept her from getting too close. "You want to help the person, but you can't. Because you don't want to get in trouble," said Ramos.

Ramos made the right decision because investigators said as soon as the first deputy got on scene he was confronted by a man with a gun. "He got out, made contact with that subject, the subject had a gun in his hand, he raised it and pointed at the deputy, the deputy feared for his life and had to fire," said Deputy Chris Curtice.

Investigators don't know if the man shot by the deputy played a role in the other two shootings. Witnesses saw a white Dodge Intrepid speeding away from the scene around the time of the shooting. "We don't know if there was a gun battle between the car and the guys on the street or if the suspect the deputy shot was involved with the shooting of the other two people," said Curtice.

Whatever the case, the shooting left neighbors fearing for their safety. "It's getting to where it's a common thing around here. Every week I hear gunshots, or a gunshot. I was telling my wife, this here is getting a little too close to home," said neighbor Paul Lujano.

Investigators are questioning a fourth man who was at the scene when deputies arrived. At this point, there is no word on the conditions of the second shooting victim or the man who was shot by the deputy. Both were rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery this morning.

This is the third deadly shooting by a Fresno County deputy in the last five months.

Last month, a man broke a window at a home and deputies say that when they caught up to him, he threatened them with a knife. Neighbors say they heard the suspect ask a deputy to kill him. The deputy fired one time and the man died.

Back in May, a deputy was investigating a 911 hang-up when someone pointed him towards a car. A man got out of the car and came at the deputy with a knife. The deputy pulled his gun, fired several times, and killed the suspect.

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