Clovis police arrested 18-year-old Jordon Aubuchon on Thursday for allegedly shooting a Hispanic man with gel balls in the parking lot of Mountain View shopping center at Shaw and Fowler avenues.
Police said in a news release that after receiving a call about the attack, they pulled over a vehicle driving recklessly near Ashlan and Armstrong avenues.
Two men jumped out of the vehicle and fled, but officers detained Aubuchon and another passenger.
Charged With Felony Hate Crime
Aubuchon will be charged with a felony for the alleged hate crime and a misdemeanor for negligently discharging the “gel blaster,” which is a toy gun, authorities said. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Aubuchon, who is white, remained in Fresno County Jail.
According to Clovis police, the victim said that shortly before he was shot in his vehicle, he heard the driver of the other vehicle yell a racial slur. The victim told a police dispatcher that he wasn’t injured, but he did describe the suspect’s vehicle.
Chief: ‘Hate Crimes Have no Place in Clovis’
“Hate crimes have no place in Clovis, will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with swiftly,” said Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming.
The police chief also said that the department has seen an increase in juveniles and young adults shooting gel blasters and similar toy guns.
“(We) would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that shooting any projectile, especially from a moving vehicle, is dangerous and against the law,” said Fleming.