Police in Fresno, California say a football watch party at a Fresno home was likely targeted by attackers who shot ten men, killing four Sunday evening, but at this point a motive remains unknown. Fresno Deputy Police Chief Michael Reid told reporters at a press conference early Monday morning that dozens of people were in attendance at the gathering when an unknown number of assailants attacked.
“Luckily, most of the women and children were inside,” he said.
Some of the survivors initially listed in critical condition were now in stable condition, according to police.
Three people — all Asian men between the ages of 25 and 30 — died on the scene, Reid said during an overnight press conference. A fourth man died later at hospital. All those shot were between 25 and 35.
“It’s very likely that it was targeted — we just don’t know why,” he said. “Somebody picked that house and came up and shot several times on the backside of it. It looks like there was a target.”
Earlier, Lt. Bill Dooley said no suspect or suspects had been identified in the shooting, which was reported shortly before 8 p.m.
According to police, there was another shooting in Fresno earlier on Sunday that may or may not be connected to this attack. Residents of the neighborhood where the shooting took place told the Fresno Bee that violence has been escalating recently.
Choua Vang said Sunday’s shooting wasn’t the first one in the neighborhood. His next door neighbor’s house was shot at last week.
“It makes me feel unsafe to be outside when the sun’s down,” he said.
Vang often works on his car in his driveway, but now he said he’s nervous to do that and even suspicious of joggers in the neighborhood. He said he worries about his family members who work graveyard shifts and come home late at night.
“We’re thinking about moving out of the neighborhood,” he said. “We don’t know how many more shootings there will be.”
There have been a number of high profile shootings in California in recent days, including the attack at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita and a murder-suicide in San Diego that left five dead and a nine-year old boy clinging to life. In that case, authorities believe that the suspect, who was going through a divorce, showed up at his wife’s home and shot her and their four children.
A 6:50 a.m. 911 call first prompted officers to head to the family’s home. No one was on the other end, but an argument could be heard in the background.
A second 911 call came in soon after. A relative who lives next door had heard what sounded like a nail gun being fired.
Officers arrived, spotted a bleeding child through a window and broke a front window to get inside. In total, six people were found suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The parents and their youngest son died at the scene. The other boys were rushed to a hospital where two succumbed to their injuries.
Investigators later determined a fight broke out between the parents after the father — who didn’t live at the home but visited on occasion — showed up for an unknown reason. The mother had just obtained a temporary restraining order against him the day before, police said.
While California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently signed more than a dozen new gun control bills into law, the shootings in California are almost certain to prompt another wave of gun control efforts in the state, though no specific legislation has been announced since the shooting in Santa Clarita. The new laws enacted by Newsom will restrict long-gun purchases to one per month, expand the state’s “red flag” law and allow for teachers, co-workers, and others to file the request to disarm individuals determined by a court to be a danger to themselves or others. Already the state has the most restrictive gun laws in the country, but sadly, as we’ve seen, more gun control doesn’t equate to less violent crime.