FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A weekend surge in violence in Fresno seemed to raise the crime rate, but police say the numbers tell only one part of the story.
Sunday, a woman was stabbed in southeast Fresno. Her injuries were minor, and police are still searching for a suspect.
Then, late Sunday night, a shooting in northwest Fresno off College and Locust Avenues sent three people to the hospital.
All are expected to survive.
Just after midnight Monday, a disturbance inside a house on Hawes Avenue ended in gunfire. A 41-year-old man, Nathaniel Ricks, was shot in the upper torso. He died at the scene.
"We are working leads at this time trying to locate other witnesses that may have been present at this location, including other family members as well as some video evidence," said Lt. Paul Cervantes from the Fresno Police Department.
Ricks has past gang affiliation, but at this time, detectives do not believe that was the reason for his murder.
They say they believe the shooter is someone Ricks knew. No arrests have been made.
This is the city's 24th homicide of the year.
On this date last year, there had been 36 homicides. That's a 33% decrease.
Overall, the city of Fresno's homicide rate has been trending down.
In both 2020 and 2021, the city had 74 homicides.
Last year, that figure dropped to 60.
"There's a number of reasons for that, primarily it has to do with the number of officers available," said Lt. Cervantes.
Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama has set a goal to have 900 sworn officers on the force. The department has not quite reached that number yet, but it's getting close.
More officers on the street means more officers available to respond to violent crimes.
Lt. Cervantes said there is also a 17% decrease in shootings compared to last year.