String of Violence Across Fresno

October 20, 2008 6:36:01 PM PDT
A violent weekend left six people shot across the city of Fresno, and the police departments want to make sure more people don't get hurt.Police say the students who were shot in southwest Fresno were innocent victims. One of them is a Washington Union star football player. Police say both victims are good students and were mistaken targets.

17 year old Dante Smith is number 32 in the front row ... Just last week he was cheering as his team was named the team of the week.

Fresno police say Smith he was shot six times in the chest and legs. Despite his injuries, he is expected to survive. Police say Smith and his 15 year old friend didn't realize they were in danger as they stood talking near an apartment complex.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "These were innocent bystanders. They were not involved in any criminal activity today or Sunday or in the past. They have no gang affiliation or no gang ties."

Investigators say the teenagers were standing in a carport at Jensen and Walnut that is usually occupied by members of the Muhammed Gang. Rival Dogg Pound Gang members are the suspects.

At Washington Union, students and teammates returned to class to hear about the violence.

Mark Mendoza said, "We talked about it earlier in the morning. We're all a little worried right now. A little down but we'll pull together as a team, I guess."

School officials are relieved that Smith's condition is improving after being shot so many times.

School Athletic Director Jeff Cardoza said, "He's lucky to be alive from what I've been told by the number of gunshots he received, but he's a good strong kid and we're hoping for a full recovery."

Dante Smith is in serious but stable condition. His friend was shot in the face. He is also in serious condition.

Police are following up on leads ... They did get the description of a car that is believed to have fired the shots.

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