Victim fights back, then shot during crime spree
A Fresno man escaped serious injury when he took a gun away from a chain-snatching bandit, only to be shot by the suspect’s partner during a wild cross-city weekend crime spree, police said.
Four people are in custody after seven people were robbed during the series of robberies, which took place May 3 as the suspects drove through the city ripping chains from victims at gunpoint.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer identified the four as Vinny Romero, 19, Eduardo Gomez, 19, Jason Rodgers, 19, and Alexis Torres, 22. Bail for Romero and Gomez was set at more than $700,000, while the amounts were $155,000 for Rodgers and $25,000 for Torres.
The suspects struck at West Shaw and North Marks Avenues during the opening of Culichi Town Mexican restaurant, where the bandit took a chain from a victim as his young child stood nearby, and then appeared to pull the trigger while pointing the weapon at another man, Dyer said.
Fortunately, the gun did not fire. The violence took place as a mariachi player strolled nearby carrying a trombone.
Three other robberies took place in southeast Fresno. The victim was wounded at a Johnny Quick Market after he wrested the handgun from a bandit and tossed it away. That’s when the second robber retrieved the weapon and fired it at point-blank range at the victim, who appeared to be getting the best of the fight. The bullet struck him near the shoulder and went through his body, according to police. He was treated for the wound and released from the hospital.
Police reported that the victim did not want to talk about the incident.