Fresno Police see dramatic rise in shootings, homicides

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Shattered glass covers the sidewalk next to La Bella Rose in Fashion Fair Mall.

Many of the windows were blown out by bullets from a shooting on Monday.

One of those windows came down as Action News spoke to Helen Oliva, the owner of the shop.

Oliva says luckily, her employees were in the back of the store grabbing merchandise when the shooting happened.

Fresno police say several rounds were fired at the store window, and the gunfire was returned by a customer in the store.

This crime is the latest in a sharp increase in shootings detectives are seeing this year.

RELATED: 17-year-old boy killed in east central Fresno shooting

So far, they've had 475 shootings in Fresno, more than 200 more shootings than this time last year.

The number of lives being lost is also on the rise - at least 35 people have been killed this year.

Sgt. Andre Benson says those homicide numbers are currently higher than other cities like Long Beach, Sacramento, and San Jose.

And with the number of cases piling up, it's impacting the speed of investigations.

The department has more units out patrolling and city council president, Miguel Arias, says a community-wide meeting is planned for Friday night.

"The conversation on Friday is what kind of enforcement the community wants to see," he says.

Arias says the meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Hinton Community Center. Anyone can attend, but people will stay in their cars as it will be a drive-in meeting.
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