Fresno PD to Crack Down on Gang Violence Following Three Fatal Drive-By Shootings

FRESNO, Calif. - Three different drive-by shootings in Fresno leaves three victims dead. So far, no arrests have been made in any of the cases. Now, the Fresno Police Department is stepping up their patrols.

All the shootings happened over the Memorial Day weekend. Early Sunday morning, 22-year old Manuel Lopez and 40-year old Paul Cerrato were shot and killed at two different locations, about an hour apart. Dyer said Lopez was not a gang member, but could have been targeted because he was wearing red shorts. The Chief said after the shooting, Lopez's killers stole the victim's shorts and shoes. Dyer said Cerrato was involved in gangs, but there are no suspects in his murder. Kayla Foster, who was 18-years old, was gunned down early Monday morning in front of a party. She was the niece of former Fresno Police Deputy Chief Keith Foster.

"Kayla Foster was struck in the head and was unfortunately pronounced deceased at a later time," stated Dyer at a press conference at police headquarters on Tuesday morning.

Dyer said all three of the drive by shootings were gang related, and the gang violence in the city is very concerning. He said officers will be out in full force to try to eradicate gang members out of the community. Dyer said starting Tuesday, they're going to increase visibility in the areas where each drive-by shooting occurred.

He said, "We will be utilizing every available resource within the Fresno Police Department to combat the gang violence within our city."

Dyer said with gang-related shootings, there is a potential for retaliation.

"In fact, we have information that retaliation is going to occur," stated Dyer.

Dyer said gang violence is not just a police problem, he said it's a community problem. Anthony Ortiz, Jr. Agrees. He tries to get youth out of gangs through his organization California Youth Outreach.

Ortiz said, "It might be things at home, it might be things at school, it might be things out in the neighborhood. There's always something else that gave them a reason why they're involved in the gang."

Dyer attributes the increase in violence to the gang way of life. He said gang members don't forget their enemies, so police have to get ahead of the problem.

There have been 29 murders so far this year, as compared to 16 this time last year. Chief Dyer said 65-percent of this year's shootings are gang related.

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