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6 suspected gang members arrested in shooting in Fresno backyard that killed 4

2019-12-31 16:59:36

FRESNO, Calif. — Six suspected gang members have been arrested in a shooting that killed four people and injured several others during a backyard party, the Fresno Police Department said Tuesday

Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall said the suspects are all self-admitted gang members and that they carried out the shooting to retaliate against a rival gang they believed was responsible for the death hours earlier of the brother of one of the shooters.

Fresno police served 19 search warrants Dec. 26, recovering two guns used in the slayings, including one that was stolen from Oklahoma.

In the Nov. 17 shooting, at least two suspects entered a backyard on East Lamona Avenue in southeast Fresno and opened fire. The home is about a half-mile from the Fresno Airport.

Ten people were shot and four died. 

All the victims were of Hmong descent. Fresno is home to the second-largest Hmong community in the U.S. The men who were killed were Xy Lee, 23; Phia Vang, 31;  Kou Xiong, 38; and Kalaxang Thao, 40. 

Fresno Police reported that the two suspects had automatic weapons and snuck into the backyard party while a group of people were watching the Los Angeles Rams-Chicago Bears Sunday Night Football game.

About 35 people were in attendance when the shooting began. The suspects opened fire on the 16 people in the yard, while the rest of the partygoers –  mostly women and children inside the house – were unharmed.

Police have confirmed that the shooting was gang-related but say the victims are not believed to be associated with a gang. 

Background: 4 dead in ‘mass casualty shooting’ at Sunday Night Football party in California

Coroners prepare to remove the bodies of shooting victims as Fresno Police investigate a shooting on Nov. 18, 2019.
Coroners prepare to remove the bodies of shooting victims as Fresno Police investigate a shooting on Nov. 18, 2019.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Visalia Times-Delta: Fresno mass shooting: Police make arrests in deadly backyard shooting


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