Fresno police chief: Tower District is 'one of the safest places' despite Friday night shooting

Investigators say the man was upset because he was denied entry due to an expired ID.

Jessica Harrington Image
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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Fresno Police are still looking for the person who fired shots at Bobby Salazar's in Fresno's Tower District.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Police are still looking for the person who fired shots at Bobby Salazar's in Fresno's Tower District.

But business owners insist the streets are still safe in the area known for its nightlife.

Police say Friday night, a man opened fire outside of Bobby Salazar's restaurant in Central Fresno's Tower District.

Investigators say he was upset because he was denied entry due to an expired ID.

Police are still trying to track down the person who fired and three others who were with him.

Long-time owner of Irene's Cafe, Irene Saul, says she was disappointed to hear about the shooting, but she doesn't want it to give Tower a bad reputation.

"We have a very safe community here. We have a lot a lot of people that come to the Tower and sometimes on the weekends, we get people that come down here and cause problems," said Saul.

Tower District is in City Councilmember Esmerlda Soria's area.

She says she's grateful no one was seriously injured Friday night and says the businesses shouldn't lose customers over one person's actions.

"When we look at the data, the aggregate data for the city of the whole, it's half of one percent of all shootings taking place in the city of Fresno. So what does that mean to me? That means it's a safe neighborhood," Soria said.

According to the Fresno Police Department, there have been several incidents where shots were fired in the Tower District this year.

In January, four people were shot outside of Vibez Lounge on Olive Avenue.

Carlos Reynosa was arrested all the victims all survived.

Also in January, a vehicle was struck by gunfire behind Sequoia Brewing.

In May, a party bus was shot in the parking lot of Dollar Tree. No one was hurt.

Last month, a man fired shots into the air after being denied entry into Strummers. He was later arrested.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says people should feel safe because the department is proactive in the area.

There's always an officer assigned to the Tower District and they've added bike patrols.

"We work very, very hard to try to make this area as safe as possible," Balderrama said. "They shouldn't fear because the Tower, statistically speaking, is one of the safest places. You are going to have isolated incidents happen from time to time."