From left, Reedley Police Detectives Robert Vasquez and Cesar Cardenas examine a magazine from the recovered firearm at the Duff and Sunset location. 

Four reported shootings in the last month. One person dead, three wounded, and a bizarre turn of events has kept the Reedley Police Department working around the clock as they try to gain control of the influx of violence that has plagued the city in early 2019. 

The most recent of the incidents — initially believed to be gang related — took place on the evening of April 6.

“Our dispatch center received multiple calls of shots fired,” said Lt. Hector Aleman with the Reedley Police Department. “Callers were saying that two people were shot multiple times, in the 1600 block of East Springfield [Avenue].”

Aleman added that officers responded within a few minutes and found two male subjects in the driveway with multiple gunshot wounds. Both survived their injuries. 

“Currently our suspect description, is one male suspect, likely Hispanic, early 20s, 5’2” to 5’4”, regular build, white shirt. We were not given an accurate description on the color of hat,” said Aleman. “Witnesses also said he had a baseball cap, possibly black.”

A couple hours after the Springfield shooting, officers were dispatched to a home in the area of Duff and Sunset Avenues. 

“We then responded to that call and the individual was declared deceased at the hospital a short time later. We weren’t sure if this was a gang retaliation because both of these locations — the Sunset and Duff location and the Springfield location — are known to have a history of gang members living there,” Aleman said at the time.

“Opposite gangs, so it seemed to us this was likely a rapid retaliation from the first shooting, and at that point we thought to investigate them both.”

“At that point we needed to divide our resources,” Aleman continued. “And we investigated both cases simultaneously.”

Detectives soon discovered the individual at the Sunset and Duff location died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

“We were getting some phone calls and very limited information from the involved parties in both incidents,” Aleman said. “Detectives then tracked down another involved party and also verified and corroborated that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. That person also told us where the weapon had been stored prior to the arrival of law enforcement.”

A person initially had been reported running from the area following the shooting. 

That person turned himself into police the following day. 

“He admitted that he was on scene and shared his version of events, which again began to corroborate what the medical staff had stated — that this was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Detectives now believe the series of shootings on April 6, the Sunset and Duff location as well as the Springfield location, were not directly connected.

“We are confident this is an isolated incident, and it is not a retaliatory type of incident,” said Aleman.  

Just one week prior, on the afternoon of March 29, police were dispatched to the 900 block of East Springfield where a man sitting in his parked vehicle was shot. 

“Officers arrived on scene and found an adult male with a single gunshot wound,” said Aleman the afternoon of the shooting. 

The man, whose identity was not released, was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. He also survived his injuries. 

A few weeks prior to that, on the evening of March 8, another shooting was reported in the 1600 block of East Springfield. No one was injured during that incident.

“We understand that retaliation is always a fear of neighbors,” said Aleman. “We will go out of our way to contact these residents, we will meet them outside of the police department, at their homes, at their job sites, we understand the fear and the concerns, but we are more than happy to talk to anybody who has any information on these incidents that we’ve been experiencing lately.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Reedley Police Department at (559) 637-4250.

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