FRESNO, California (KSEE) – 2020 is coming to a violent end in Fresno: Fresno Police say shootings more-than doubled when compared to the previous year, and murders are also up substantially when compared to 2019.
Since January, Fresno Police responded to more than 725 shootings – compared to 360 in 2019. Investigators say murders have also increased with 74 so far this year, compared to 45 last year.
“The numbers we’re seeing this year – up to 74 – we haven’t seen in well over 10 years,” said Fresno Police Capt. Mindy Casto. “We’re starting to go back to the 90s.”
Casto says the record high for murders was 87 back in 1994.
“It’s definitely driven by gangs, drugs, human trafficking, and that kind of high-risk lifestyle,” Casto said.
Two homicides took place in Fresno on Tuesday. The first at around 1:30 p.m., near Fairmont and Holt. When police arrived, they found a juvenile shot multiple times. He died at the scene.
The second took place shortly before 11 p.m. in Pinedale. A man was found shot to death in a car.
“It’s not just a police problem there’s a lot of societal tension going on, there’s a lot of things going on that are kind of outside the realm of police control within the community,” Castro said.
“But also we had to release over 3,500 inmates from the state prison system, people who’ve been convicted and they’re back in the mix.”
Castro added that only around 40% of the cases are solved, but hopes things will calm down in 2021.
“Advance Peace is going to be starting this year, we have a new mayor and new chief so hopefully we’re going to come up with some new brainstorm ideas on ways we can approach crime”.
Anyone with information on any of the ongoing investigations is asked to contact the Fresno Police Department at (559) 621-7000.