ONLINE ONLY: Fresno Police: ‘It sounded like a war zone’ on New Year’s Eve

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – On Tuesday night, Fresno residents heard the sound of gunshots and fireworks as they rang in the new year.

“To use the improper term here for the police, it sounded like a war zone last night,” Fresno Police Department Sgt. Gary Beer said.

Our skycam captured the fireworks that were seen throughout the city on New Year’s Eve. Broadcastify provided the recordings as dispatchers answered calls on possible gunshots and fireworks.

“I heard one loud boom and it’s gonna be south of us…and I just heard another one,” is heard at one point during the dispatcher recording.

Police officers prepared ahead of the New Year’s celebration. In addition to DUI checkpoints, resources were directed toward the Hmong New Year evening activities. When that was over, officers were ready for the gunshots and fireworks.

“We just try to find a safe spot to be when the shots are ringing out, so we don’t get dropped on the head and go back in service as quick as we can,” Beer said.

RELATED: Texas nurse shot to death on New Year’s Eve, likely by celebratory gunfire, police say

Even at DUI checkpoints, they had a plan.

“When we run those at night, when the shots start ringing out, we open the checkpoint up and just let people go through and find a port to stand under,” Beer said.

The police department said they don’t have numbers yet as to the calls they received regarding gunshots and fireworks last night, but Beer said it can be hard at times to distinguish between them.

“It’s hard to tell the difference, and I know it’s hard for shot spotters to tell the difference as well,” Beer said.

On the night of New Year’s Eve in 2018, the police department said they received more than 300 calls for shots fired between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

RELATED: Fresno law enforcement prepping for celebratory gunfire, DUIs on NYE

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