Valley Murder Rates

December 31, 2008 7:18:59 PM PST
Fresno's Police Chief says murders in the city are down quite a bit over last year. But the same can't be said for all parts of the Valley.Fresno Police started a major gang crackdown because of a shooting that happened right in this neighborhood.

The police chief attributes this gangs and guns effort along with others for a quarter fewer murders this year compared to last. But when you look at other Valley cities ... The decrease in violence is not universal.

"My son David Gomez was killed in November 7 '02," said Carrillo.

Nellie Carrillo is still grieving her son's death.

"We have had no peace, no justice, no closure," said Carrillo.

Gomez was shot and killed in Southeast Fresno- a crime committed dozens of times this year in the Valley. But Fresno's Police Chief is celebrating 2008 as a year murder declined in his city.

The city of Tulare also reports a decrease: 7 homicides in 2007. This year 3 murders.

Visalia had 12 murders last year, in 2008 ... 11 murders

During 2007 ... 52 murders occurred in Fresno. This year ... The number dropped to 40.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "That can be largely attributed to the fact that we have removed so many gang members from our streets, bulldog gang members who have historically been involved in a lot of homicides ? shootings."

The Fresno Police Department recently launched a gun violence crackdown ... Netting 600 arrests. But not all Valley cities saw a decrease in violence.

In 2007 ... One murder occurred in Clovis 2008 ... Clovis had two. Combined totals for Merced County and city indicate 18 murders happened in 2007. This year ... It jumped ... 25 murders.

One of those crimes involved a 29-year-old Merced college student. In October ... Investigators found Michael Riley shot outside his apartment. He later died. It's an incident that pains a mother who also lost her son.

"Gunning down an innocent child, an innocent young person walking down the street ... that is the biggest sin in your whole life," said Carrillo.

Fresno city also saw a nearly 30-percent decrease in shootings. The police chief hopes those to carry over that trend into the New Year.

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