Fresno Police officer shoots man during drug arrest

Police Chief Dyer said the suspect brandished a handgun during a foot chase

FRESNO, California - A man was shot by a Fresno Police officer in east-central Fresno on Wednesday after he brandished a handgun during a foot chase while officers were trying to arrest him for dealing drugs, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

The shooting happened at 11:40 a.m. in the area of Shields and Maple avenues.

Officers received information that a man on felony probation was in an apartment complex in the area, and he had an active felony warrant, Dyer said.

Officers were told that the man, Dyer identified as Bert Harris, 36, had two handguns.

Members of the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) arrived in unmarked cars, Dyer said.

The officers found Harris and began to observe him from a distance, Dyer said. Officers witnessed Harris dealing narcotics to people who would pull up to him.

The officers decided to move in on Harris in their vehicles with police lights on, Dyer said.

Before officers could make contact, Harris got onto a bicycle and rode south through the apartment complex, exited through a pedestrian gate, and then went east on Shields Avenue.

A sergeant with MAGEC pulled to up to and confronted Harris who then ran toward a nearby apartment complex.

While on foot, the sergeant yelled for Harris to stop, and Harris pulled what appeared to be a black handgun from his front right pocket, Dyer said. The Fresno Police sergeant fired a single round at Harris striking him in the hip area.

At that time, California Highway Patrol officers with MAGEC approached with their sirens going to setup a perimeter.

Harris continued to run, dropped the handgun, and then was confronted by a CHP officer and taken into custody.

Dyer said Harris had a backpack, and they believe there is a second hand gun and narcotics inside, but they are waiting for a search warrant before opening the bag.

A witness told police that Harris was known for being involved in drug sales as well as pimping girls, Dyer said.

Harris has a criminal history out of Southern California involving vehicle theft, making terrorist threats, and drug sales, Dyer said.

Officers gave Harris first aid on scene, and then he was transported by ambulance to an area hospital and is expected to recover.

The officer involved in the shooting was in plain clothes, but he was wearing a MAGEC tactical vest which has a yellow police star on the front. Dyer said he's a veteran officer with about 20 years experience.

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