FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) --Fresno police are investigating after they said an 18-year-old man shot at one of their officers. Police arrested Jose Molinero late Tuesday for shooting at police officers during a high-speed chase.
The overnight incident is the fourth shooting targeting police officers in less than three months. And now Molinero joins a handful of inmates accused of the same crime who are all involved in gangs.
A bullet hole marks a shot just a few inches shy of a life-changing hit. But it's also a sign of the times in the Fresno Police Department's war against gangs. "There's always a potential for an officer not to come home after their shift," said Chief Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Department.
Dyer said this hit happened in Southwest Fresno. The officers were in unmarked cars, but investigators said they had their lights and sirens on during a high-speed chase. Molinero turned around while driving, Dyer said, and shot toward officers before ditching a stolen and loaded handgun. "We train them very well. We equip them very well. But we also know there is an incredible risk involved in what they do."
It's the fourth attack in less than three months and Dyer thinks it's because they're targeting gang members more than ever before. Right now there are 100 officers dedicated to that operation. "I know this is a trend that's not isolated to Fresno. What we have seen across the United States right now is for individuals to shoot at police officers-- including ambushes of police officers," said Dyer.
Before this crime, Molinero had never been arrested, but now he's off the streets, and if convicted, likely for a long time.
Molinero is facing three felony charges including first and second degree attempted murder.
Neither of the officers were injured in the pursuit.