They tried to rob him. He opened fire, Fresno police say

Fresno police say they are searching for two people they believe tried to rob a man Saturday in southeast Fresno.

However, the man who was nearly the victim in the case told police he fired off shots at the robbers’ vehicle as they fled.

Details are still preliminary and the case remains under investigation. Lt. Carl McKnight said a man was stopped by police shortly after a ShotSpotter picked up gunshots at Ninth Street and Belmont Avenue just after 11 a.m.

The driver of the car told police that he had been assaulted at El Mercado Market as he walked to his car. Two people approached the man, who was then pepper-sprayed, McKnight said. The man told police he thought he was being robbed.

“The victim reached into his car, got out a handgun that he owned. The suspects jumped into their own car to take off,” McKnight said. “The victim fired seven to nine rounds at the tires of the suspect vehicle.”

Police searched the area and only found shell casings but no evidence that the car was hit. The gun is registered to the man who was allegedly assaulted and police say he has no criminal record.

Anyone with information is asked to call anonymously at 559-498-7867.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez