Fresno breaks grim record, sees more shootings in 2020 than ever before

Police say most of the shootings are gang-related.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno has broken a record nobody wants to break.

The city has seen more shootings than ever before, as homicides are up 40%.

RELATED: Fresno police see shift in where shootings are happening

Community leader and pastor DJ Criner wants to see a serious change in gun violence in Fresno.

"A bullet doesn't have a name, a bullet doesn't have eyes on it, and a bullet doesn't have a GPS location on who it's going to hit next," he says.

The city is grappling with a record 724 shootings this year, more than double last year.

Pastor Criner says something needs to change and it begins with loving for your neighbor.

"It's an unfortunate reality that we are facing today where people just don't care or just don't have the love that they used to have for each other."

The last time crime was this bad was the 90s.

Back then, the city had a record 87 homicides in 1994.

So far this year, Fresno has seen 72.

Fresno Police say most are gang-related.

RELATED: Fresno Police fear killing of key gang member may spark more shootings

"I just know there's a lot of tension in the community - some people because they are unemployed, others because they are cooped up and they don't have an outlet, others because they're just a lot of rival gang members in the community and they have to be on guard constantly," says Fresno Police Captain Mindy Casto.

In an effort to battle the increased crime, Fresno Police started the violent crime suppression operation back in October.

Hundreds have been arrested and more than two hundred guns have been taken off the street.

RELATED: Fresno Police continuing operation to crack down on growing shootings, murders

But long-term solutions won't come easily.

Aaron Foster is hoping his organization, Advance Peace, can help control the crime by planting seeds of entrepreneurship in every conversation in the community.

"It's not our job but it's absolutely our problem because we know the victim and the shooter directly and the impact it has on the family," he says.

RELATED: Once controversial, Advance Peace gets city funding to tackle Fresno violence

For Pastor Criner, this problem is personal. He's concerned not only for his community, but also for his own family.

"A 5-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old kid should not have to be afraid to walk out of their house," he says.

Right now, only about 40% of the homicides are considered "solved."

Fresno Police says they have suspects for the other crimes, but solving the cases will take time.
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