Residents left on edge as police investigate series of crimes in northeast Fresno


FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – Northeast Fresno was on high alert Monday evening after a series of crimes, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, and an hours-long standoff between a suspect and police.

Officers surrounded Tempranillo Apartment Homes on Copper and Chestnut as they searched for a man accused of committing an armed robbery earlier in the day.

Since the armed robbery suspect was considered to be armed and dangerous, some nearby residents were evacuated and others were told to shelter in place.

“It doesn’t matter which part of Fresno you live, you see more and more of this kind of thing happening,” explained T.J. Kahra.

Kahra’s drive home from work landed him in the middle of a crime scene.

“It surprised me because this is a really nice area in my assumption,” said Kahra.

Police were looking for a man believed to have robbed a Cali Smoke Shop clerk at gunpoint on Champlain and Perrin, getting away with $300 and some cigarettes.

Police say after a first failed attempt to carjack someone in the parking lot, he did manage to take someone’s car and flee.

The manhunt brought police to the Tempranillo Apartment Homes, where they say they spotted the stolen car and began trying to negotiate with the suspect who was hiding out alone in a friend’s apartment. 

While that scene unfolded, another investigation was just beginning at the Cascade Apartments.

Around 3:30 p.m., officers say they received information that a woman had been shot and killed at the apartment complex.

“They made entry and they did confirm there was a female caucasian in her 40’s that was deceased, that investigation is still underway,” said Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley.

Police say at this time it’s too soon to tell if the crimes are related.

Back on Copper Avenue, exclusive photos and videos from a neighbor show the SWAT team cutting through their home to get a better eye on the suspect.

“He was respectful, not belligerent with us, just a little resistant,” Lt. Dooley said.

Neighbors watched as the suspect hung out on the balcony, then heard a flashbang.

As the family took cover, the SWAT team moved inside the apartment and the suspect came out with hands up.

“Always fortunate and that’s what we look for. Our SWAT team and crisis negotiators work hand in hand in these critical situations. Our first and foremost goal is to establish communication with the subject and get them to peacefully surrender,” Lt. Dooley said.

Right now, police are executing a search warrant at the apartment the suspect was hiding in.

They have not released any more information about who he is or the homicide victim.

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