Police Chief Jerry Dyer on shooting of child during gang violence
The shooting of a young child during a week of surging gang violence prompted Police Chief Jerry Dyer on Tuesday to order more special units onto Fresno streets.
William Reed, 5, was hit by gunfire apparently aimed at his father or another nearby man Monday night while his father was loading him into his mother’s car in southeast Fresno, Dyer said.
The bullet penetrated William’s chest and lung, and he remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Community Regional Medical Center.
The shooting, which Dyer said is likely related to gang rivalries, followings the killing of Ernest Carter, 34, and the wounding of three others during a block party on Fourth of July evening, also in southeast Fresno.
In both cases, the chief said the shooters fired multiple bullets indiscriminately, killing or wounding innocent victims. And in both cases, witnesses, including William’s mother and father, likely know something and are being less than fully cooperative, Dyer said.
“I’ve got to believe that someone has information,” he said.
“If they are not willing to help, I don’t know how they sleep at night.”
Speaking of William’s parents, the chief said: “The mother and father in this case have not been forthright in providing information.”
Monday night’s violence erupted in the 2000 block of North Winery Avenue about 7:30 p.m., where police rushed after receiving multiple 911 calls.
Dyer said young William was in the back of his mother’s car as she drove to pick up her daughter, 2, from the child’s father, identified as Tim Cook, 21. As Cook, accompanied by a second, unidentified man, was placing the girl in the vehicle, someone among a group of males nearby began firing at Cook and his companion, striking William.
Police located William and his mother at the hospital, but Dyer said that the car, a 2000 blue Honda Accord with license 5UXV605, was gone. Dyer said police need to find the car as part of the investigation, and also want to talk to the person who drove it away from the hospital.
Dyer described the number of bullets fired with little concern for innocent bystanders as very disturbing. There were at least 58 rounds fired during the July 4 homicide and at least 25 Monday night. Two cars and and an apartment were hit by bullets in the second incident.
“Twenty-five rounds fired in rapid succession by a person who is running — there is absolutely no way they can be accurate,” Dyer said.
All of the department’s motorcycle cops will take part in the special operation as well as officers from the department’s Special Response Teams and MAGEC gang officers, the chief said.