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Gang’s Shooting Spree Kills One, Injures Others

September 4, 1990

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ Gang members thwarted in an attempt to attack rivals rampaged through the city, killing one person and wounding up to nine others, police said Monday.

The victims apparently were chosen at random during a four-hour spree of shootings and robberies Sunday night throughout this central California city of 350,000 people, said Sgt. Mike Guthrie.

″There doesn’t seem to be any identifiable pattern,″ Guthrie said. ″I think it was more driving until they saw an opportunity and taking it.″

Police arrested four boys, ages 14, 15, 16 and 17, and confiscated five guns early Monday. All of those arrested are from Fresno, Guthrie said.

Each was charged with one count of murder, six counts of attempted murder and seven counts of armed robbery. Their names were withheld because of their ages.

One suspect remained at large and additional charges were pending against the four held, police said.

Besides the three shotguns, one rifle and a handgun, police seized crack cocaine from one of the youths, Guthrie said.

The rampage began after uniformed officers patrolled a drug-infested west Fresno neighborhood called ″the U,″ said Guthrie.

Five gang members intended to shoot rivals, but left the area because of the police, Guthrie said.

After the fatal shooting downtown, one juvenile left the group, Guthrie said. The other four robbed and shot people along an eight-mile stretch north to near Fresno State University, then headed back downtown, he said.

″This entire scenario was an afterthought,″ Guthrie said.

The shooting spree was ″unprecedented in our city,″ he said. ″I can recall nothing of this magnitude ... There very easily could have been half a dozen or more murder victims.″

Police blamed the juveniles for the killing of a 47-year-old man and shootings that left six other men wounded.

Two remained hospitalized Monday in serious condition, said Sgt. Dwight Williamson. The others weren’t seriously wounded, he said. The victims’ names were withheld released.

Three other people were injured in shootings Sunday night and investigators were trying to determine whether the same youths were to blame.