Fresno police launch gang operation in quick response to weekend violence, homicides

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A sudden spike in shootings in Fresno last weekend led to the launch of a gang operation just as quickly.

More than 50 officers hit the streets after seven shootings and two homicides in 48 hours between Friday and Sunday.

Police have already arrested several suspected gang members and seized a lot of weapons, but they're still watching out for possible payback.

Behind the yellow tape, Fresno police found a murder victim and evidence predicting more trouble to come.

"There's a couple reasons why that shooting is so concerning to us - the number of rounds being fired and as well as the potential for retaliation," said police chief Jerry Dyer.

Investigators found at least 22 shell casings near Clinton and Valentine, where 39-year-old Gerald Wharry died -- one of two homicide victims before 3 a.m. Sunday.

Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer says officers are investigating seven shootings and two high profile stabbings over the weekend.

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They're also trying to nip a violent trend in the bud by launching a gang operation right away.

"There's been ten felony arrests of gang members we know to be involved in the incidents or associates of those individuals either shot or responsible for the shootings," Dyer said.

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Lindale Moore was one of the people they arrested. Dyer says it was right near the scene of Wharry's death and Moore tried to get rid of a gun when he saw police coming for him.

In all, police seized nine weapons during the operation so far, including two illegal automatics.

"When (gang members are) armed with fully automatic weapons, when they can fire a significant number of rounds in a short period of time, there's always a potential for innocent people to be shot," Dyer said.

Dyer said he's hoping their operation puts an end to the violence, but it isn't over, and officers are watching out for retaliatory violence.
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