Police first responded to the area after they got a call about a suspicious man who was running in the street. The first officer to arrive saw a man holding a knife. About the same time, another vehicle pulled up, driven by an innocent bystander. "The suspect started pounding on the vehicle with the occupant inside," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Dyer said the second officer who arrived tried to distract the man and get him away from the vehicle. The officer reportedly fired several shots after he feared for his safety. "The officer retreated at that point and actually retreated behind his patrol car. The suspect at that point started running toward the officer while armed with the knife and the officer fired on the suspect multiple times," said Dyer.
The shooting shut down the intersection for eight hours, giving a few businesses like Hacienda Motors a late start to the day. "The area, you see it all the time. Crazy things happen here," said Cristobal Ambris, the dealership's owner. Ambris' business opened around noon, about three hours later than normal.
Across the street, construction crews at Mathews Harley Davidson also experienced a short delay as they work on a 13,000 square foot expansion. There, the early morning shooting was of little concern to the motorcycle dealership's owners. "Business is good down here. We've never been threatened. We believe in downtown and this is our home," said business owner Cara Mathews.
By 11 a.m., things had returned to normal and the freeway on ramps reopened. The suspect hasn't been identified. At this point, we don't know what led to the man's strange behavior.