The Valley’s New Year’s celebrations included a lot of parties and dancing – and at least one shooting death, the arrest of a man on suspicion of shooting into the night and several DUI arrests.
A 23-year-old man was shot to death early New Year’s Day during an altercation at a New Year’s Eve celebration in Sanger, police said.
Officers responded to a report of shots fired at an apartment complex in the 1600 block of J Street, just east of Academy and North avenues, about 5:40 a.m., police said. They found a man suffering from gunshot injuries. Sanger Fire Department responded to provide emergency medical services and determined the victim had died.
Investigators said the victim was shot after a fight broke out during a New Year’s Eve party. Sanger police are investigating the homicide and will continue to follow up on various leads.
Police have not found a motive in Sanger’s first homicide of 2016. It hasn’t been determined whether the homicide was gang-related.
In Fresno, police were kept busy responding to reports of shots fired as celebrants fired into the night to ring in the new year. One such call led to an arrest.
A Fresno man was arrested on New Year’s Eve on suspicion of shooting a rifle toward the skies above central Fresno, police said.
Officers were investigating reports of shots fired in the area of East White Avenue and North Diana Street, just east of East Belmont Avenue and North Abby Street, about 11 p.m. Thursday when they heard several shots being fired near their location, Sgt. Chris Desmond said.
Officers heard more shots and narrowed the location to a corner house on East Thomas Avenue and North Thesta Street. They walked toward the house and saw a man bolt into the backyard of the house through a nearby alley, Desmond said.
Officers found a spent shell casing from a large caliber rifle in the driveway.
Khamla Phaboriboune, 22, surrendered to officers and allowed them to search the yard and a small detached garage where he was found. Officers found more spent rifle casings, live ammunition and an SKS rifle with several magazines, Desmond said.
Police arrested Phaboriboune and seized his rifle. He was booked into Fresno County Jail for reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of an assault rifle. He was released early New Year’s Day on bond, according to jail records.
DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols in Fresno and Visalia on New Year’s Eve resulted in seven arrests, including a 28-year-old Fresno man who is suspected of driving a stolen vehicle.
Fresno police arrested four drivers and impounded their vehicles for alleged DUI. They were stopped at a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint set up on the eastbound lanes of West Nees Avenue near North Palm Avenue. Also during the operation, nine other vehicles were impounded for being operated by unlicensed drivers.
Johnny Pena was arrested after he pulled into the checkpoint with a stolen vehicle, police said. He was booked into Fresno County Jail on numerous charges, including driving a stolen vehicle and receiving stolen property, police said.
In a separate operation in Visalia, police arrested two drivers, Antonio Chavez, 32, of Orange Cove and Jose Andrade, 19, of Visalia, for suspected DUI during a saturation patrol across the city from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., police said.
Visalia police stopped 33 vehicles throughout the night. Police handed out one citation for operating a vehicle with a suspended license, another for operating a vehicle without a license and 12 other citations for a variety of offenses.
Anyone with information regarding the Sanger shooting is urged to contact Sanger Police Department investigators Abraham Ruiz or Rey Carrillo at 559-876-6365.