A woman who runs a group home in the Fresno neighborhood where Tuesday’s triple homicide occurred said she heard more than 11 shots fired and saw people running up the street.
Maria Praise said she was taking out trash in the alley when she heard a volley of gunfire, then a second barrage of gunfire.
“I ran inside my house and I told my residents to get inside and we locked the doors,” she said. “Then we saw people running.”
A man had been shot dead across the street from her home near Fulton and Nevada. Praise said he had been carrying a bag of groceries, possibly having just come from the Catholic Charities building a block to the south.
Praise’s neighbor, Wendy Eckley, said she heard six shots fired, then a pause and another six shots fired. She said she wasn’t sure if the shots came from two guns, or if one weapon was reloaded.
She said her son saw a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. worker in the neighborhood who he believed was shot by the assailant.
A PG&E truck that then ended up outside the Fresno Police Department on M Street had its rear window and passenger window shattered.
PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles confirmed that an employee was killed in the shooting, and asked for prayers for the utility’s employees. He added: “Public and employee safety is always our top priority. While we focus on safety every day, no training or protective equipment can prepare one for events outside of one’s control.”
Religious and city officials expressed sadness and support for the families of the shooting victims and those who witnessed the bloodbath.
Teresa Dominguez, chancellor for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, said the diocese is providing support for those who witnessed the shooting.
“The diocese will be present to the needs of all those serving as witnesses to this violent and traumatic event,” Dominguez said, “such as counseling and pastoral care, and Bishop [Armando] Ochoa asks for the prayer of all the faithful for the victims of this violent crime and their families, and that law enforcement will be successful in the their investigation in identifying the perpetrator.”
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand expressed sadness for the families of the victims and noted that the quick response of police officers prevented “further senseless violence.”
“If there were ways to prevent tragedies like this in the future, I would not hesitate in using them,” Brand said. “Again, my heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones today.”