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State DOJ Investigating Saturday’s Fresno Police Killing of Suspect

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The state DOJ says it is investigating the shooting death of a suspect by Fresno police on Saturday, March 4, 2023. (Shutterstock)
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The California Department of Justice is investigating the shooting death of a suspect by Fresno police early Saturday evening, state Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a Monday news release.

The DOJ is making its inquiry pursuant to Assembly Bill 1506, Bonta’s office said.

“Although there was reportedly an exchange of gunfire, preliminary investigation indicates that the decedent was not in possession of a deadly weapon at the time of the fatal shooting,” Bonta’s office said.

Bonta’s office also said that the investigation was begun “based on preliminary details … which may continue to evolve.

“Once the investigation has been completed, it will be turned over to the California Department of Justice’s Special Prosecutions Section within the Criminal Law Division for independent review.”

The state Attorney General’s website states:

“Given the dynamic nature of these sensitive incidents, the California Department of Justice is limited in the information it can provide with regard to such ongoing investigations. However, we will make every effort to provide updates as soon as feasible and strive to be as transparent as possible throughout the process about what information is currently available for disclosure.”

Suspect Killed in Northwest Fresno

The suspect died following a chase that ended in northwest Fresno.

According to Fresno police, an officer was shot in his bulletproof vest before another officer shot and killed the suspect near Herndon and Ingram avenues at about 5 p.m.

Officials said that the officer was taken to a hospital for observation but was not seriously hurt.

The deadly confrontation began when officers tried to pull the suspect over near Shaw Avenue and Highway 41, but he sped away, according to Fresno deputy police chief Mindy Casto.

(GV Wire/Paul Marshall)

Suspect Had Six Outstanding Warrants: Fresno Police

The suspect, who was not named, had a lengthy criminal history with more than 20 arrests and six outstanding warrants, Casto said.

A police helicopter followed the suspect as he cut off vehicles and ran red lights, Casto said.

When patrol officers caught up to him, they rammed his vehicle. The suspect then exited his car and started shooting. Officers returned fire “and the suspect went down,” Casto said.

It was not immediately known how many shots were fired by the suspect or the two officers. The suspect’s gun was fired at least once, according to the deputy chief.

(Associated Press contributed to this story.)

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email