Deputies search for gunman who fired shots at Cherry Avenue Auction

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Chaos erupted after a shooting at the Cherry Avenue Auction sent patrons running in fear.

"We were on our way out and we just saw everyone running," said Juan Magana.

Owners say the Saturday swapmeet and flea market typically draws anywhere from 3,000 to 12,000 people depending on the time of year -- with spring being the busy season.

"Everyone was trying to jump. Vendors trying to jump over the fences," said a man who did not want to speak on camera. "They couldn't even get their stuff in. There was an old lady in a wheelchair couldn't even pass by."

He said in his 20 plus years of attending the event, he's never seen metal detectors or security checkpoints upon entry, but adds he never thought there was a need.

"We come here every Saturday its a place for family, where kids come and for something to happen like that is very tragic," he said.

Fresno County Sheriff's investigators say reports of the shooting flooded both California Highway Patrol and Sheriff's dispatchers at around 1:30 p.m.

"From what we've gathered so far it looks like a fight broke out in a pretty crowded area where all the booths are," said Lt. Brent Stalker. "And once the fight broke out someone who wasn't directly involved shot a round off."

Based on evidence collected, investigators say at least one shot was fired, but they've heard conflicting reports when it comes to a shooter description and how many people were involved.

As of now, no arrests have been made.

"I am pretty shocked that nobody got hit with this amount of people," Stalker said.

CHP were already on scene conducting traffic control at Cherry and American Avenues when they aided in the almost immediate response.

"If we have an active shooter thats what were trained to do and handle it as quickly as we can," Lt. Stalker said.

An owner of the Cherry Avenue Auction spoke with Action News, saying they will be meet with security and take any necessary precautions to prevent something like this from happening again.
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