2 arrested in shooting of 5-year-old boy in east-central Fresno

Fresno police arrested two men Thursday in the shooting of a 5-year-old boy on July 8, when a group of four men opened fire on a car carrying a woman and two children in east-central Fresno.

They were identified as Elroy Major and Michael Bowman, both 25. They were taken into custody after police, including SWAT team members, served multiple warrants in the early morning hours.

Still at large are two other men, identified as Seandell Davis, 21, and Kedar Saunders, 18. All face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, according to Chief Jerry Dyer, who announced the arrests at a news conference.

Dyer called the shooting of the child, William Reed, “extremely concerning, and absolutely unacceptable.”

It happened less than a week after a similar shooting, when armed men opened fire on a group of people during a Fourth of July block party. Ernest Carter, 34, was killed by gunfire when shots rang out in the 4700 block of East Hamilton. Two other people were wounded.

In the July 8 shooting, William was hit by a bullet that went through his back and vital organs, as his mother and estranged father, Tim Cook, 21, met for a child custody exchange involving a 2-year-old daughter.

The chief provided new details of the incident during the news conference, saying it happened as William’s mother drove with William in the car to a parking lot for the child exchange. On the way, Cook texted the mother and directed her to a location near North Winery and East Yale avenues because he had crossed paths with the four men and feared violence would erupt.

But Dyer said the four followed Cook to the new location, where two of the men opened fire during the exchange. After the shooting, another man who was with Cook drove the wounded boy to a hospital, then disappeared with the car. Police have not been able to identify him, and the car was found partially burned at South Fig and West Central avenues in southwest Fresno.

Elroy Major, top left, and Michael Bowman, bottom left, have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a 5-year-old boy July 8, Fresno police said Thursday, July 18. Seandell Davis, top right, and Kedar Saunders, bottom right, remain at large. The Fresno Bee

During the Thursday morning sweep, Dyer said, Major was arrested in the 3300 block of East Sierra Madre Avenue, where officers recovered two 9-mm handguns. Bowman was taken into custody at a hotel near Blackstone and Herndon avenues. Officers recovered two assault rifles in the 400 block of North Manila Avenue.

Dyer on Thursday said Cook is not a known gang member.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Davis and Saunders is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.

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