Homicide rates down year-over-year in Fresno

Fresno police study each shooting to see where they are happening and what resources could be used to prevent similar shootings.

Kate Nemarich Image
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Homicide rates down year-over-year in Fresno
Even with two murders in 72 hours in Fresno, homicides in the city are down nearly 50% year-over-year.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Even with two murders in 72 hours in Fresno, homicides in the city are down nearly 50% year-over-year.

One man was shot dead allegedly by his landlord on Saturday in East Central Fresno.

Another man was stabbed to death in West Central Fresno on Tuesday.

With those murders, the city reached 10 murders for the year.

Despite the two seemingly back-to-back cases, that's down nearly 50% from 19 this time last year and from 30 in the same time frame in 2021.

"What you're seeing right now is you're seeing kind of the one-off homicides, and not your typical year that they're almost all of them are going to be gang-related," said Chief Paco Balderrama, Fresno Police.

Balderrama credits an increase in the number of officers and what he calls "intelligence-led policing".

"What we do is we use the intelligence to address you know, your probable shooters, your problem areas, and ultimately to keep our community safe," said Balderrama.

"We're making a lot of traffic stops are taking a lot of guns off the streets. These are potential murders. These are potential drive-by shootings."

The non-gang-related cases, such as the shooting on Saturday, can be harder to predict and prevent.

"Violent crime is a little bit easier for us to address because we just go after the probable shooters who are out there on the streets," said Balderrama. "Crimes like, you know, a landlord-tenant dispute, a domestic situation where unless we're called, we have very little ability to, you know, to reduce those types of crimes."

Balderrama said his team studies each shooting to see where they are happening and what resources could be used to prevent similar shootings in the future.

The chief also credited the department's strong relationships with the Fresno County District Attorney's Office, the sheriff's office, and other local law enforcement for helping reduce crime.

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