A 16-year-old boy was in grave condition Sunday according to police after he was shot by a Fresno police sergeant on Saturday. The boy is being linked to a Friday shooting that led to the death of another teenager.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the 16-year-old is a suspect in Friday’s shooting on North First Street near Gettysburg Avenue during which at least one of two brothers are believed to have shot at a vehicle that then crashed, with the driver dying of his injuries at the scene.
Investigators still had not said if the driver, identified Saturday as Eugenio Ybarra, 19, died from the crash or a bullet fired into the vehicle. Three others in the vehicle apparently were not hit by gunfire.
The 16-year-old or his brother, 17, are suspected of firing the gun.
Passengers in Ybarra’s vehicle told police that two teens had argued with them at a pizza parlor, Dyer said. Police also had information that the teens could be members of the Calwa Bulldog gang. Dyer said the department had not confirmed the gang ties.
Officers with the Street Violence Bureau on Saturday staked out a home on the 500 block of East San Bruno Avenue, where a vehicle carrying the 16-year-old had been spotted.
Just after 3:30 p.m., officers waited until the vehicle pulled away before stopping it in the parking lot of the Gallery Plaza at Shaw Avenue and Fresno Street.
Three people were in the car, including the 16-year-old who initially complied with officers’ orders but then took off running to the east, Dyer said. The other two remained in the vehicle.
The teen ran toward the New Life Discovery preschool at Fresno Street and Keats Avenue and jumped a fence. He was later approached by a plainclothes sergeant and shot once in the upper body. The boy, Dyer said, made movements toward his waistband and led the officer to believe there was a weapon.
No weapon was recovered at the scene, though Dyer said police were still searching the area and the vehicle. Security video did capture the shooting. Police dash-cam footage of the traffic stop and body-cam video also are being reviewed, Dyer said. The teen was taken to Community Regional Medical Hospital, where he remained in serious condition Sunday.
The search for the boy’s 17-year-old brother was continuing, Dyer said Saturday. A name may be released as the investigation continues.
The sergeant has been with the department for more than 20 years. Dyer said Saturday night that the officer was placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in such incidents, and the investigation is continuing to determine whether the shooting was justified.
There were no signs of children or cars at the daycare facility. New Life’s website lists its hours as 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.