Fresno and Madera County law officers are now investigating up to 10 shootings in which drivers are randomly fired upon, officials said Thursday.
Detectives are looking for a dark-colored, four-wheel-drive pickup with oversize tires and an extended or crew cab, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said during a news conference Thursday morning. She was joined at the conference by Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney and California Highway Patrol Capt. Eric Johnson, commander for the Fresno area. Valley Crime Stoppers also upped the reward to $3,000 for anyone who provides information leading to an arrest.
One person has been injured in the random shootings, a woman who sustained shrapnel wounds, apparently from broken glass. But, “If this keeps going, we are going to have a murder investigation,” Mims warned.
The initial round of shootings happened between Nov. 27 and Dec. 7 in Fresno and Madera counties. In each case, the victims said they heard loud bangs as a vehicle passed them heading the opposite direction. More have occurred since then.
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Mims called the hunt for the shooter a top priority.
“We have committed significant resources,” she said, but the investigation has been hampered because some victims have delayed reporting shootings – up to three days in one instance.
“Get to a place of safety and report it as soon as possible,” said Mims.
“We are highly motivated to find who is is doing this.”
Detectives are studying videos obtained from some homes along the shooter’s route, and requested that anyone with additional surveillance footage contact the sheriff’s office.
“To the suspect of these cowardly acts: We are all working together to find you,” said Mims.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867 (STOP).