FRESNO, Calif. - Gang violence continues to plague the streets of Fresno. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said we are in the middle of gang retaliation between two African American Southwest Fresno gangs. Violence continued this past weekend.
Dyer said there's no end in sight but police presence will be increased until it is.
"This is a feud between gangs, rival gangs, fueled by some disrespect and maybe some old feuds," said Dyer.
He said in the past week there have been 12 shootings leaving one dead and one in critical condition. Five of those are related to the feud, five unrelated to the feud, and the two additional shootings maybe related, but are still under investigation
The spike in violence started Thursday with two shootings, four happening on Friday, and one on Saturday.
Dyer said the number of shootings to date is down 27-percent from last year but the recent events raise a red flag.
"The potential is continuing to see shootings between these West Fresno gangs and based on everything we have heard that is their intent," he said.
Former gang member turned pastor Joby Jones said this is the worst feud he's seen in years.
"We are not getting anywhere. We are losing the people who got shot and then we are losing the shooter. I just wish that they would begin to look at the impact that they do. Not only to the other individual families but their own families," he said.
Dyer said police are not backing down.
"We have had a conversation with the leadership of both sides. The information we have is they respect the Fresno Police Department, but there's nothing we can do to stop this feud. I happen to disagree with that statement," he said.
Jones said he's not losing hope.
"At the end of the day we have to pray for this community and pray for our city. Jesus Christ is the answer until he touches everybody's heart. That's when we will really see a change," he said.
The number of homicides is down from this last year. Five have occurred so far in 2018 compared to eight at this time in 2017.