Manhunt for shooter firing at Calif. drivers at random


FRESNO, Calif. — Authorities in central California say someone is randomly shooting at vehicles and that at least 10 have been struck by bullets. No major injuries have been reported.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said Thursday a woman who was sitting in one of the vehicles was wounded by shrapnel.

$3,000 Reward and Suspect Vehicle Description Offered Up in Random Roadway Shootings

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a series of shootings on public roadways, which appear to be related. Between November 27th and December 17th, there have been 10 separate reports of vehicles being struck by gunfire. Eight occurred in Fresno County and two occurred in Madera County. Only one case resulted in a person suffering injuries. Detectives have not determined a motive for the shootings and are considering them to be random.

All of the shootings in Fresno County have happened in the same vicinity, on the outskirts of the city of Kerman. Most all occurred at the beginning and end of traditional commute hours. A common thread in all reports is the victims said they heard loud bangs as another vehicle passed them, going the opposite direction on the roadway. They later inspect their vehicles and find bullet holes in various places.

Numerous victims have given deputies the following description of the last vehicle they saw go past them at the time they heard the noise.

– Dark colored pickup truck with an extended cab or crew cab
– Lifted body with oversized tires

Valley Crime Stoppers is now offering a $3,000 cash reward to anyone with information about the person or persons responsible for these shootings.

The following is a list of reported shootings to date:

1) Around 6:45 am on November 27, 2017, a vehicle traveling on Madera Ave. (Hwy. 145) near Avenue 8 ½ was hit with bullets. This is in Madera County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

2) Around 9:30 pm on November 27, 2017, a vehicle traveling on W. California Ave. near S. Bryan Ave. was hit with bullets. This occurred in Fresno County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

3) Around 3:30 pm on December 1, 2017, a vehicle traveling on N. Dickenson Ave. near W. Shields Ave. was struck by bullets. This occurred in Fresno County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

4) Around 4:30 pm on December 1, 2017, a vehicle traveling on N. Dickenson Ave. near W. Shields Ave. was struck by bullets. The driver was also hit. The woman called law enforcement and was treated for her injuries, which were determined to be non-life threatening. This occurred in Fresno County.

5) Around 4:30 pm on December 4, 2017, a motorist driving on Madera Ave. (Hwy. 145) near W. Barstow Ave. had their vehicle struck by gunfire. This occurred in Fresno County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

6) Around 6:45 am on December 7, 2017, a vehicle traveling on Madera Ave. (Hwy. 145) near Avenue 6 was struck by gunfire. This is in Madera County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

7) Around 4:30 pm on December 11, 2017, a motorist driving on Whitesbridge Ave. near Howard Ave. had their vehicle struck by gunfire. This occurred in Fresno County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

8) Around 5:00 pm on December 11, 2017, a vehicle traveling in the area of Jensen Ave. and Rolinda Ave. was struck by bullets. This occurred in Fresno County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

9) Around 7:00 am on December 15th, 2017 a motorist drove past a vehicle on Dickenson, near Central Ave. The victim heard a loud noise, drove to their destination and found a bullet hole in their vehicle when they performed an inspection. This occurred in Fresno County. They were not injured.

10) Around 2:00 pm on December 17th, 2017, a vehicle traveling on
Trinity Ave. near Shaw Ave. was struck by bullets. This occurred in
Fresno County. No one in the vehicle was injured.

Deputies with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Madera County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the California Highway Patrol are working together to try and identify possible suspects and put a stop to these shootings. This case is considered a top priority and additional resources have been designated to the investigation.

All of our agencies want to warn the public to be aware of these instances and the locations in which they occurred. If your vehicle is struck by an object, pull over and park in a safe place as soon as possible. Inspect your vehicle and if it appears to be damage from a bullet, dial 911 immediately and report as much information as possible to dispatchers. The faster the information is reported, the quicker patrol units can respond to the area and search for the shooter.

Anyone with additional information on any of the cases listed above, or even cases not listed, is asked to contact Sheriff’s dispatchers at (559) 600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867. You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $3,000 cash reward.

Posted by Fresno County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mims says detectives are looking for a dark-colored, four-wheel-drive pickup with oversize tires and an extended or crew cab.

She says the shootings started Nov. 27 and that eight vehicles have been struck by bullets in Fresno County and another two in Madera County. In each case, the victims said they heard loud bangs as a pickup truck passed them heading the opposite direction.

The most recent incident was reported Sunday, reports the Los Angeles Times. Mims said the shootings tend to occur during morning around 6:30 or 6:40 a.m. or during the afternoon between 2:20 or 4:40 p.m., when some drivers are commuting to and from work, the paper reports.

The incidents have been reported miles apart. Some drivers initially assumed their car was struck by a rock and don’t notice bullet holes in their vehicle until arriving home, the paper reports.

 “We have not determined what a motive is or could be for these shootings. They all appear to be completely random,” Mims said.

A $6,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the shooter’s arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call Fresno County authorities at (559) 600-3111. Anonymous tipsters can call (559) 498-7867.

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