Central Fresno medical building cleared, no gunman found

The search of a medical facility in Central Fresno is now over after police say they did not find the gunman inside. They are now focusing their efforts on locating one of two witnesses who may have had contact with him.
October 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The search for a gunman at a medical facility in Central Fresno is over after a Fresno Police SWAT team didn't locate the suspect inside.

The search began around 11:15 Wednesday morning, after the department received a call of a disturbance in the parking lot of the Family Care Providers Medical Group on N. Fresno Street and Lamona Avenue.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the call was then updated to a gunman inside the building, after the suspect entered the facility and held a gun to the head of a female patient.

"She fell to the ground and ultimately fled the business," said Dyer. "Another witness also saw the man with the gun and at that point police believed he was still inside."

As word spread throughout the facility, Dyer said some patients and employees were able to get out while others ducked for cover and locked themselves inside some of the rooms.

"We had patients locking themselves in offices which is the right thing to do when there's a gunman inside of a business," said Dyer. "There's been a lot of media attention regarding active shooters on school campuses and inside businesses so they did the right thing locking themselves inside and waiting for us to arrive, secure the facility and bring them out."

He said the SWAT team conducted a methodical search of the three story building. Officers went door-to-door looking in every room of the three story medical facility as well as two other smaller structures attached to both sides.

He said officers are now focusing their efforts on locating the patient who fled because she may be the only person to have made contact with the suspect and could provide police with important clues about why he was there.

"He made an initial statement. He said something along the lines of "you're not my wife" and we don't know if he said that because he was looking for his wife or if he in fact was responding to something she said."

The other witness, believed to be an employee, provided police with a limited description of the gunman. He's described as a Hispanic man with a tattoo of a paw print on his face. Police are still working to determine the connection between the suspect and the medical facility and what may have prompted him to bring a gun inside.

"There's a strong possibility that the individual left the business prior to police arriving and setting up the perimeter," said Dyer.

All 26 people inside the facility eventually got out unharmed. The roads were back open around 4:15 p.m. Anyone with information about the incident or the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call the Fresno Police department.