Police chief describes what led to a southeast Fresno murder-suicide
A woman who was in court Friday to get a restraining order against her daughter’s father was killed Saturday morning, allegedly by the man, police said.
The man ran for a few blocks before firing a fatal shot to his head while standing near a major intersection in southeast Fresno.
Chief Jerry Dyer said at a news conference near the first crime scene that the 26-year-old woman was shot and killed inside her home on Burgan Avenue near Inyo Street.
Dyer said the woman was shot at least once but multiple shots were possibly fired inside the home by the suspect, a 40-year-old man who then ran before shooting himself in the head in front of officers just before 10 a.m. The second shooting happened near the intersection of Kings Canyon Road and Armstrong Avenue.
Neither the woman nor the man were immediately named by police.
Dyer said the apparent murder-suicide may have stemmed from a domestic violence restraining order granted Friday by a Fresno court judge. The man and woman were both present in court at the time the order was granted. Dyer said the man was well aware of the restraining order.
“It was apparent that this individual had been pursuing her in some form or fashion and obviously today that was the unfortunate outcome,” Dyer said.
The man and woman had a 1-year-old daughter together. The child was not home at the time of the shooting. Dyer said the woman left the girl with a babysitter the night before in Clovis.
Police taped off different areas of the southeast Fresno neighborhood as investigators sifted through evidence and witness statements.
Dyer said the woman was on the phone with her sister when the sister heard arguing and screaming, and then the victim’s phone went dead. The sister called her mother and the mother called police. It’s unclear if neighbors heard the gunshots.
Officers who arrived at the Burgan Avenue home found the garage door open and went inside. They found the woman in a child’s bedroom already dead.
Dyer said the victim was a foster mother to “a significant number” of children in the past. He said those children would be notified of her death.
Dyer said no officers fired their weapons after confronting the man, who stopped in front of them and shot himself once. He later died at Community Regional Medical Center. It’s unclear if the man’s suicide was captured on police body cameras.
Note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported the 1-year-old’s gender.