Police Chief Jerry Dyer says man fatally shot by officer had reached for gun
The man fatally shot Wednesday by Fresno police was being sought for a shooting two weeks earlier at a park west of Highway 99, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said Thursday.
The Fresno County Coroner's Office on Thursday identified the man as Raymond Gonzalez, 34, of Fresno.
Dyer said Gonzalez was standing with another man in front of Scotty's Liquor Store on Blackstone Avenue near Yale Avenue about 3:45 p.m. March 23 when officers spotted him. A plainclothes officer thought he was acting "suspiciously" and tried to contact Gonzalez.
Gonzalez dropped a backpack and fled, and as he ran he pulled a handgun out of his waistband, Dyer said. He was within 40 to 50 feet of a business when an officer fired one round and missed. Gonzalez fell on top of his gun.
Dyer said body cam video shows when Gonzalez raised himself up, he had a black object in his hand that the officer believed was a gun. The officer fired again, this time hitting Gonzalez. He died later at Community Regional Medical Center.
Dyer said it's possible the object in Gonzalez' hand could have been a phone. There was also a lighter and a crack pipe found near him. Police said Gonzalez' handgun was loaded, but had not been fired.
The backpack recovered by police had a disassembled AR-15 handgun, Dyer said.
Gonzalez was an admitted gang member with an extensive criminal history, including for assault with a deadly weapon. He had a warrant for his arrest for a shooting March 10 in which two people were targeted at a park at Brawley and Clinton avenues, west of Highway 99, Dyer said.