Fresno's gang violence continues to escalate

Police think Saturday morning's shooting is connected to gang retaliation

FRESNO, Calif - A 20-year-old man is in critical condition Saturday night, following another shooting police say is tied to the series of gang retaliation shootings plaguing Fresno since Thursday.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Zurich Chatman was outside near Pilgrim Church of God in Christ around 10:16 a.m. when he became the target of a drive-by shooting. He was ready to go out of town with the adult children of the church's pastor -- one of them being his girlfriend.

After getting shot in the head, Chatman was rushed to Community Regional Center to undergo surgery. At this time, he's reported to be in critical condition.

Dyer was disturbed this shooting happened so close to a church.

"[Churches are] an area that is always considered sacred ground," he said. "Unfortunately, somebody violated that."

Dyer suspects this is related to the recent series of gang retaliation shootings in southwest and central Fresno. In all of the shootings, two victims are in critical condition.

Anthony Perry, 24, is the only victim to have died. He's the son of Edison Tigers assistant coach Tony Perry – who died in November.

Southwest Fresno pastors D.J. Criner and B.T. Lewis again urged for peace near where the shooting happened.

Criner called the violence senseless, while Lewis stressed the painful ripple effect of these shootings.

"When one of our children -- one of our young people -- are harmed in our community, it hurts us," Lewis said. "Never as much as it hurts the family, but it hurts the entire community."

Dyer announced Friday more around 75-to-80 officers would be added to the streets this weekend to help suppress the violence.

The increased enforcement helped find  a suspect tied to a shooting from around 5:30 p.m. in southwest Fresno. After a brief chase, police arrested Ronnie Mac, 28.

"I guarantee you we prevented more violence that could have happened later this evening," said Lt. Steve Card.

No one was harmed in the shooting Mac was arrested for, nor is the motive known at this time. Card said Mac was arrested on charges of shooting from a vehicle, felony evading officers, reckless driving and parole violation.

Dyer said after the weekend, police will reassess their enforcement and make changes if necessary.

Perry's family is currently raising money for funeral cost via GoFundMe campaign. You can find it here.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News