Two people were killed and a third was wounded late Friday night when gunfire erupted at a large party near Easton, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said. It was the county’s fourth double-homicide this month.
Gunfire was reported about 11:40 p.m. at the party on the 7200 block of Orange Avenue, southeast of Easton. Deputies found a woman, believed to be in her late teens to early 20s, and a man believed to be in his mid-20s, both dead. A third person was taken to a hospital with non-lethal gunshot wounds, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said.
About 100 to 125 people were at the party when a disturbance broke out and shots were fired, he said.
Deputies detained several partygoers and detectives were interviewing them to determine what happened. No one has been arrested. The victims were not identified by the Sheriff’s Office.
However, Teresa Beukers of Fresno said she knew both the victims from her youth mentoring and missionary work.
Beukers said she believes that there needs to be more effort to keep Fresno’s young people away from bad influences.
“There’s so many shootings, so many gangs – lives get lost too soon,” Beukers said.
The young man, she said, “struggled with staying out of trouble, but he was a really sweet kid.”
Beukers said a prayer vigil will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at Easton Presbyterian Church, 5895 S. Elm St. Organizers plan to accept donations to help with funeral expenses, she said.
These are the seventh and eighth homicides in Fresno County this year – and the fourth double-murder in January. None of the cases has been solved, Botti said.
Last year, the Sheriff’s Office investigated nine homicides, seven of which were solved, he said.
Botti said he did not know why there has been an increase of violence recently and that the Sheriff’s Office would not be asking for outside assistance to help investigate the unsolved homicides.
Anyone with additional information on this case or any other homicide case should call the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at 559-600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP (7687).