UPDATE: Fresno Police arrest six people in connection with the mass shooting deaths of four men last month at a backyard gathering of family and friends that they believed was a rival gang’s party.
At a press conference held Tuesday, Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall said the shooting was gang related, and retaliation for the death of another man.
Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall said at the news conference that the suspects are all self-admitted members of the Mongolian Boys Society gang and that they were retaliating against a rival gang called the Asian Crips that they believed was responsible for killing a member of their gang hours 16 hours earlier.
The retaliation was planned after a shooting that same day at 3904 E. Dwight, where 28-year-old gang member Randy Xiong was murdered before the mass shooting.
Randy Xiong is the brother of suspect Billy Xiong, a member of the Mongolian Boys Society.
The victims were killed Nov. 17 when gunmen entered the back of a Fresno home through an unlocked gate and used semiautomatic weapons to open fire on people watching a football game in the backyard.
Four people were killed, and six people were wounded.
One of the people at the house was an affiliate of the Asian Crips but was not active in the gang, Hall said, though the Mongolian Boys Society believed it was a gang party.
Billy Xiong, 25, of Fresno, was arrested on suspicion of mail theft on Dec. 17, and authorities found one of the weapons used in the killing of the four men, Hall said.
Fresno police served 19 search warrants on Dec. 26, recovering the other gun used in the slayings, which had been stolen from Oklahoma, Hall said. Besides the two guns used in the attack, authorities also recovered 12 other weapons and $46,000 in cash believed to be tied to drug activity
The suspects are 30-year-old Pao Vang, 27-year-old Anthony Montes, 26-year-old Porge Kue, 25-year-old Billy Xiong, 25 year-old Johnny Xiong, and 19-year-old Jhovanny Delgado.
The chief didn’t say who the shooters were but that all six planned the attack.
One “person of interest” is still being sought. Police are still looking for 23-year-old Sia Vang, AKA Giant.
Police want to ask him a few questions related to the case and he is currently wanted for a parole violation.
Fresno Police said suspects are all members of the Mongolian Boys gang.
All are in the Fresno County Jail.
All six suspects are being held on bail at more than $11 million dollars each.
District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said she will prosecute fully.
Smittcamp says all of the suspects are admitted members of the Mongolian Boys gang and said this could be a death penalty case.
(KMJ) – Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall has called for a news conference at 11 a.m. to announce ” the arrests of murder suspects in the shooting death of 4 victims that occurred on November 17th.”
That shooting at a home on the 5300 block of East Lamona in Southeast Fresno killed four Hmong men:
38-year old Kou Xiong, 23-year old Xy Lee, 31-year old Phia Vang, and 40-year old Kalaxang Thao.
In the aftermath of this shooting, the Fresno Police Department created a special Asian Gang Task Force, primarily to prevent any retaliation from this shooting, especially during the city’s Hmong New Year celebration.
All the victims were of Hmong descent and the shooting rattled the central California city, home to the second-largest Hmong community in the U.S.
Killed were Xy Lee, 23, a popular singer in the community, and Kalaxang Thao, 40, who is survived by two daughters and a pregnant wife, according to a GoFundMe site.
Another victim was Phia Vang, 31, who supported his parents and younger siblings with earnings from his job delivering clinical lab results.
The shooting occurred at the home of the fourth victim, Kou Xiong, 38, a gregarious sushi chef who loved hosting parties.
Xiong is survived by his wife and young daughter.
Both Vang and Xiong were children when they moved to the United States from Thailand as part of refugee relocation efforts.
Hmong, an ethnic minority group from East and Southeast Asia, fought on the side of the United States in the Vietnam War.
After the war, the U.S. moved them to places in Minnesota, California and Wisconsin.
In California, Hmong settled in Fresno and the Central Valley, where sponsors hoped they could find work given their agricultural background.
Mayor Brand Statement on the Arrest of Murder Suspects from the November 17 Shooting
FRESNO, CA – Mayor Lee Brand released the following statement on the arrest of murder suspects from the November 17 shooting:
“I want to thank Chief Hall for both his patience and persistence in the Fresno Police Department’s efforts to identify the people responsible for this attack. Thanks to the tireless efforts of every officer and civilian in the Fresno Police Department, these suspects will be brought to justice.
“I also want to thank the other law enforcement agencies who helped make these arrests possible including the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, Clovis Police Department, Fresno County Probation Department, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Justice’s Fresno Regional Laboratory, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Marshals, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Their cooperation has helped us bring this terrible incident to a close.
“Thanks to the relentless efforts of local law enforcement we now – hopefully – have a sense of closure on this terrible event that shook the people of Fresno to their core. While there is still a long way to go to bring justice to the families, the healing process can begin.”