The 18-year-old niece of former deputy Fresno Police Chief Keith Foster became the city’s latest homicide victim Monday after an early-morning shooting in southwest Fresno.
Just after 2 a.m., Fresno police responded to reports of a shooting victim in the 2100 block of South Bardell Avenue. They found Kayla Foster with gunshot wounds. She was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center, but died there.
The police say Foster was standing outside with friends and they don’t believe she was the target of the shooter.
Police Sgt. Andre Benson said Monday that at least two other people were injured. A man hit by gunfire had “significant injuries,” Benson said, but is now back with family after he was briefly hospitalized. Another person was hit by glass during the shooting, but did not require medical attention.
According to a distant cousin who spoke to The Bee on Monday, Kayla Foster was a senior at Central High School and had recently attended prom and grad night.
She was supposed to graduate from high school on June 8 with her twin brother, the cousin said.
Kayla Foster’s uncle, Keith Foster, was a veteran member of the Fresno Police Department, rising over nearly three decades to become its second-in-command until his arrest in March 2015 on drug trafficking charges. Last week, he was convicted in U.S. District Court of conspiring to distribute heroin and marijuana. A jury hung on six other charges, including five counts involving the distribution of oxycodone.
Keith Foster came from a large family with deep roots in southwest Fresno. His father, Irwin Foster Sr., was a church deacon who also led the drive to bring a shopping center to the community. The southwest policing substation at the shopping center is named after Irwin Foster Sr., who died in 1999.
The federal drug trafficking case against Keith Foster – Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer’s longtime friend and one-time heir apparent – was built on wiretaps and surveillance by federal agents. In the wake of Foster’s conviction, Dyer asked the city to keep faith in the department.
Monday’s shooting that killed Foster’s niece is the city’s 29th murder this year. It comes after two men were also shot and killed within an hour of each other in southeast Fresno early Sunday morning.
Anyone with information about any of the shootings is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.