FRESNO, Calif. — Police described a dramatic and scary scene as they explained their decision Wednesday to shoot and kill a heavily armed man they said was bent on dying.
The 21-year-old suspected gang member had fired dozens of rounds from three weapons, including an assault rifle, from the backyard of a home with six children and four adults inside, police said.
Some shots striking the home came from within a shed where the man had lived for some time, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said in a news conference.
A neighbor heard the man pacing the backyard saying he “wanted to end it all,” and a woman in the home who dialed for help said the gunman announced he wanted to go see his deceased grandmother, Dyer said.
The woman also urged police to hurry, fearing they would all die, said Dyer, who identified the man as 21-year-old Salvadro Lopez.
Officers were first called to the home at 3:30 a.m. after receiving several reports of gunshots. Officers surrounded the home, hearing bullets shoot past them, police said.
The officers escorted everybody inside to safety in an ordeal lasting nearly an hour, the chief said.
Dyer said the man tried to come from a backyard to the street and was blocked by two officers, who shot and killed him. No police officers or civilians were hit or injured.
Police recovered between 75 and 100 casings at the scene. The man was also armed with a handgun and a shotgun, and more ammunition was found in a backyard shed, police said.
Police showed photos of holes from bullets exiting the shed and hitting the home. A video from an officer’s body camera showed the man firing toward him as he hunkered behind his patrol car.
Dyer said the man had a “death wish” and may have wanted to kill others. Officers opened fire to protect themselves and others in the neighborhood, Dyer said.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s office will investigate the shooting.
The violence came just a day after a gunbattle at a Fresno home left three men dead and another wounded in what may have been a home-invasion robbery or a drug deal gone bad, police said.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office identified the intruders as Xavier Williams, 23, and Elijah Monroe-Mays Sr., 27, both of Sacramento. Mays and Williams are half-brothers. Also killed was Chong Yang, 69, of Fresno. Yang’s adult son, who was armed, was also shot in the gunbattle and survived.
Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com