A 45-year-old man was killed after an early-morning confrontation Monday with Fresno County sheriff’s deputies, who responded to a 911 call at a home near central Fresno.
The shooting took place shortly after 4:30 a.m. in the 3400 block of East Terrace Avenue, near Clinton Avenue and First Street in the Mayfair District, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said.
Deputies remained at the scene – a county island surrounded by the city – while they waited for a search warrant to gather information about the shooting. The man who died was identified as Refugio Alvarez.
Botti said the shooting took place after an undisclosed number of deputies rushed to the home upon receiving a call that there were about 10 people coming and going from the home.
The caller turned out to be Alvarez, Botti said. Deputies found no one around the property. Botti said when deputies went to the front door of the home, Alvarez answered while holding a handgun and a machete. The deputies ordered him to drop the weapons, but he did not comply and continued to hold the machete. At least one deputy fired a Taser at him, which was not effective and the man continued to hold the machete and “advanced toward deputies.”
“That caused deputies to fire their duty guns at the suspect,” Botti said, adding that “multiple rounds” were fired.
Alvarez fell to the ground and deputies administered CPR and called for an ambulance, which took him to Community Regional Medical Center, where he died a short time later.
Botti said there were two other adults in the home along with three small children. None of them were injured. The children are under 10 years old and are not related to the dead man, Botti said. No intruders were found.
Detectives were trying to ascertain the man’s criminal history, whether he was under the influence of narcotics or alcohol, whether deputies had had prior contact with him and whether there are mental-health issues, Botti said. Toxicology tests were to be conducted, but results from those are usually not determined for a month or more.
Botti said the deputies who fired their weapons were placed on paid administrative leave, but he did not say how many deputies that involved.
The shooting came just days after a Fresno police officer shot and wounded a man who came at him with a knife. That incident occurred Saturday morning near Parkway Drive west of Highway 99. The man, identified as Felipe Daniel Silva, was spotted by a homeowner in a yard cursing. Silva allegedly removed a screen from a front window of the home, tried to stab one of the homeowner’s dogs, then left and was a block away when the officer spotted him.
A witness told police Silva advanced quickly toward the officer and got to about 10 to 12 feet away when the officer fired his handgun, striking Silva three times in the lower extremity. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said a neighbor reported the officer yelling at Silva at least five times to drop the knife before he advanced on the officer.
Silva was taken to Community Regional, where he was in good condition over the weekend.