It was 8:22 in the morning. The employee of Ace Check Cashing had just gone inside when she saw a hole in the ceiling and heard the suspects. She had a phone in her hand, called 911 and pushed a panic alarm. Police say the suspects jumped down, put a gun to her head told her to open the safe and tied her up. But police were on the scene within a minute. When the suspects saw the officers outside, they climbed back through the ceiling and onto the roof.
At a news conference Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer explained how the victim was rescued. "The victim was able to hop to the front door of the business, free her hands and open the door and allow our officers to rescue her from the business."
At the same time, an officer, carrying a shotgun ran around to the back of the building as one suspect had just jumped to the ground.
Chief Dyer said, "The suspect, after doing so, turned toward the officer, our officer fired one round from a shotgun at the suspect striking him."
The suspect was killed. His name has not been released but police say he was a CRIPS gang member from Banning on parole for a home invasion robbery. Police did not find a weapon on him. A handgun was found on the floor inside the business.
The second suspect was captured on the roof. He's identified as 31-year-old Leonard Jackson. Police say he is from San Bernardino County and does not have a significant criminal record. Police think Jackson was the one who held the gun on the employee. He is in custody facing a variety of charges.
Witness Joe Asher was at the 7-11 next door and said he saw another possible suspect run from the scene before the shooting. "Some guy ran by us a young fella, almost knocked us down. we went into the 7 -11 we heard a couple of gun shots."
Police officers and SWAT team members surrounded the neighborhood; four local schools were briefly locked down until officers decided the third suspect was no longer in the area.
Dyer said the victim of the robbery attempt was badly shaken up but was not physically hurt. Dyer said he did not have details as to why the officer shot the apparently unarmed suspect, but said that a review of the incident is underway.