FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — In a press conference Monday, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama identified the southeast Fresno street vendor who police say was shot “execution style” over the weekend as 45-year-old Lorenzo Perez.
Police are currently searching for a suspect who allegedly shot and killed Perez on Sunday afternoon on the 900 block of South Pierce.
Perez leaves behind a wife, and four children ages 15, 13, 9, 1.
Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said the suspect is described as an adult black man, 6’2″, in his late teens or early 20’s.
In a press conference Monday, Mayor Jerry Dyer said “This past year, after a 16-year-low of violent crimes, there has been a significant increase in violent crimes that has skyrocketed which is a 43% increase.”
Mayor Dyer said there is a collective reward of $21,000 after crime stoppers contributed to the reward.
Chief Paco Balderrama mentioned in addition to the killing of the street vendor, over the weekend two homeless people were shot inside their tent, and a person in a Fresno gas station was shot and killed.
“This year, there has been 20 homicides in all, 14 of which are gang related, this time last year there were only 5.” said Chief Balderrama.
“Just this past week, there were 12 shootings, and a total of 142 shootings total this year. Last year there were 85.”
Mayor Dyer and Chief Balderrama stressed that part of the issue is the number of available resources. Mayor Dyer mentioning that in an upcoming budget there will be an increase in resources with the Fresno Police Department to address the increase in violent crimes in the city of Fresno.
Chief Balderrama stressed they do not have bodies needed to be more proactive on the streets.
“We do not have the numbers, need to be more proactive. Right now there are 838 officers, with 61 vacancies. Only a little more than 300 people are on patrol.” said Chief Balderrama.
For more information, contact the Fresno Police Department at (559)-621-7000.
An online fundraiser was set up by Councilmembers Esmeralda Soria and Luis Chavez. A link to that is here.