FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Fresno police were investigating an officer-involved shooting at Fashion Fair Mall Wednesday.
It happened around 11:30 a.m. The mall remained open, but a large portion of the parking lot in front of the Forever 21 was taped off.
According to police, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) detectives tracked a Range Rover reported stolen earlier in the day to the area.
While in the mall parking lot officers approached the suspects, described only as two males in their early 20’s. The men allegedly tried to take off and began ramming other vehicles to get away.
“Two of the detectives that were on scene felt threatened by these maneuvers went ahead and shot at the driver to keep from getting injured,” Lt. Bill Dooley of the Fresno Police Department said.
Police said the driver was taken to the hospital in critical condition and his passenger was also hospitalized for unrelated health reasons.
This incident comes after a shooting in April when two groups of men exchanged gunfire outside the mall and one in January where a 17-year-old opened fire inside after getting in an argument with another man.
Dooley said in this case they will again be helped by mall security and are asking for the community’s help.
“We are working hand-in-hand with Fashion Fair right now obtaining surveillance videos. We are asking the public that if anybody happened to be here during the shooting and captured any videos to please contact the police department and share those with us to paint the most clear picture we can get as to what actually had happened,” Dooley said.
The Fresno Police Department is handling the officer-involved shooting investigation. Lt. Dooley said it will likely be lengthy and information will change as it moves forward.