More Fresno police to patrol Fashion Fair Mall after another shooting

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
More Fresno police to patrol Fashion Fair Mall after another shooting
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Fresno police officers are still searching for the suspect after gunfire at Fashion Fair Mall on Saturday.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gunfire at Fashion Fair Mall sent shoppers running in panic Saturday night.

Detectives say a confrontation between two groups of men between the ages of 18 to 25 turned violent.

At some point, a man pulled out a handgun and fired multiple rounds at the other group.

RELATED: Fresno police confirm shooting at Fashion Fair Mall

Police believed the shooting was likely gang-related.

An off-duty sergeant at the mall rushed to help a young man who said he was hurt and possibly shot.

But officers say the man ran away when he found out it was a sergeant helping him.

This isn't the first instance of violent crime at Fashion Fair in recent months.

Last September, there was a shootout at La Bella Rose.

And in January, a confrontation led to gunfire.

"This is something that is aggravating for everybody. You should be able to go to the mall on a Saturday afternoon and not have to worry about a shooting," says Fresno police chief Paco Balderrama.

Councilmember Tyler Maxwell says the shootings at the northeast Fresno mall reflect a bigger violence problem in the city of Fresno.

"This is a trend happening throughout our city. It's very noticeable when it happens at a high-profile place like Fashion Fair. It is concerning. It does warrant a response. I wouldn't call it a trend. it's still safe for families to go out and shop at Fashion Fair Mall," says Maxwell.

Mayor Jerry Dyer says you will notice more officers at the mall as a short-term solution.

"First thing is to make sure we have an increase in officers in that area of Fashion Fair just like we would in a neighborhood if there was a shooting, to make sure that people feel safe and that they feel comfortable coming back to that environment after a shooting occurs," he says.

In the long term, Dyer says the city needs to see more uniformed officers on all Fresno streets.

Right now, the department has 58 vacancies. He says public safety will be a top priority in the upcoming city budget.

As police continue to investigate, they are asking for the public's help.

Anyone who has any information about the shooting that took place is asked to contact the Fresno Police Department or make an anonymous report to Valley Crime Stoppers.