The Fresno Police Department needs help bringing the five most-wanted suspects in the city into custody, including two who allegedly shot at police, Chief Jerry Dyer said Monday at a news conference.
“We’ve exhausted our efforts in trying to locate these individuals,” he said. “It is our obligation to identify them and ask for help from the public.”
The five men are: Adell Vaughn, 19; Christopher Richards, 27; Delonte Love, 24; Michael Mitchell, 30; and Gabriel Osorio, 25.
Vaughn is wanted for allegedly firing at undercover officers during a police chase on Wednesday. Detectives were trying to stop the driver of the car, 18-year-old Miles Ali Banks, for his alleged involvement in a shooting the previous day.
Dyer released new information on that Jan. 26 shooting at the news conference.
Banks and Vaughn, Dyer said, spotted a rival gang member in a crowd of people on the 1500 block of North Winery Avenue. Video surveillance showed Banks firing five rounds and Vaughn firing two into the group, which was made up of mostly women and young children walking near an apartment complex.
The video showed mothers shielding their children from the gunfire, Dyer said. No one was hit during the shooting.
“We’re very fortunate we didn’t have a young child – a 2-year-old – shot and killed,” Dyer said.
Police are seeking Richards for his alleged involvement in another officer-involved shooting in December. He was among several men who fired at officers at Jensen and Walnut avenues. He also has an outstanding warrant for helping another shooting suspect avoid police.
28%The increase in Fresno shootings in 2015 compared to 2014
Dyer called Mitchell “the most violent criminal in Fresno.” He is believed to be involved in at least seven different shootings in Fresno. In the most recent case, Mitchell allegedly opened fire on a man and a woman driving near Effie Street and Pontiac Way. They were not hurt, but the car was hit several times.
Love was arrested in that same shooting, but he was released soon after. Police now have more evidence against him and are looking to arrest him once more.
Osorio is suspected of holding a knife to a woman’s throat and threatening her during a home invasion robbery in Fresno on Jan. 24. He also is wanted for allegedly carjacking a man on Friday. The 2013 silver Chevrolet stolen during that case is still missing. Its license plate number is 7LSU748.
Rewards are being offered for information leading to arrests: $2,000 for Vaughn or Richards; $1,000 for Mitchell or Love; and $500 for Osorio. Sightings may be reported by calling 911 or Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP (7867).
Most of the suspects have a habit of leaving town for a while after committing a crime, then returning to the same areas, Dyer said.
Fresno saw a 28 percent increase in shootings in 2015 compared to 2014 numbers, he said. Dyer believes the uptick is the result of increasingly reckless and dangerous gang members.
“There are people out there who carry grudges and shoot on sight,” Dyer said. “We have to get them off the street as quickly as possible.”