Fresno police have arrested six gang members since Thursday and recovered three handguns and ammunition related to an uptick in shootings over the past two months.
The department’s special weapons and tactics team served search warrants at nine homes Thursday, which led to five of the six arrests, Chief Jerry Dyer said during a news conference Friday. The latest arrest, a 15-year-old gang member on suspicion of possessing a firearm, occurred Friday at Edison High School, where he is a student.
In addition to the 15-year-old, a 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and criminal possession of a firearm near a school; Jeremiah Davis, 30, was arrested on suspicion of being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition; Marquise Moore, 21, and Elias Muhammad, 19, were arrested on suspicion of criminal possession of a handgun; and Deandre Steele, 21, was arrested on suspicion of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
Police are targeting the southwest Fresno-based Fly Boys gang, which Dyer said has been feuding with other gangs in the city. He said the gang mostly frequents northwest and northeast Fresno, but recent shootings have taken place all over the city.
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The shootings have happened during the day, and in two cases right when school let out, Dyer said. Those targeted by the search warrants are all violent gang members responsible for multiple shootings, he said.
It all started when a 4-year-old boy was injured in a drive-by shooting July 22 in front of a central Fresno apartment complex, Dyer said. Two other people have been injured during the six most recent Fly Boys shootings, the latest on Sept. 5.
The three recovered handguns are the same caliber as those used in some of the shootings, Dyer said. He hopes ballistic test results will match them.
“We know that bullets do not have eyes,” he said.
Dyer said that since police arrested 18 members of the Dog Pound gang earlier this year, there has been a void. Dog Pound members were responsible for more than half of shootings in the city, he said, so other gangs, including the Fly Boys, have stepped up.
Four men are still wanted: Bryan Lovelace, 18, suspected of being involved in a shooting; Donald Steele, 20, sought on suspicion of firearm possession; Marquise Dotson, 20, suspected of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm; and Melvin Franklin, 21, for a probation warrant.
“These individuals have to be removed from our neighborhoods,” Dyer said.