Standoff Suspect Killed After Explosion, Hazmat Situation in Southeast Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KMJ/FOX26) — A suspect was shot by Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies early Tuesday morning in Southeast Fresno.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s office says around 2:00a.m. that one of their deputies responded to shots fired in an area near Belmont and DeWolf Avenues.

The deputy found a man and shined his spotlight on him.

This is when the deputy says he saw a flash of light, heard a loud bang, and felt something hit his patrol car as the suspect fired at the officer.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office provided an update on the deputy-involved shooting that happened Tuesday morning in Fresno saying the deputy was not hit, but the patrol car was disabled.

The deputy gave the suspect commands that the suspect ignored as he ran away toward a residence on Wintergreen Avenue.

Additional deputies were called out and they were able to find that the suspect was hiding in a house on Wintergreen Avenue.

A drone was then used to locate the suspect.

Heavy SWAT presence after shots fired in Southeast Fresno (Photo: KMPH Photojournalist: Olen Hogenson)

Deputies say they began to hear a loud grinding noise, followed by a large explosion after the suspect used a grinder to puncture a 5-gallon propane tank.

They then heard more grinding noises as they say the suspect was trying to use the grinder on a 500-gallon propane tank, before smelling the odor of gas.

The SWAT team, Crisis Negotiation Team, and a helicopter were all called out to surround the area and try to call out to the suspect.

Authorities then received a call from a family member telling them that there were more family members inside the house with the suspect.

Once the suspect was away from the house, SWAT went in and rescued the family members that were inside.

SWAT took over the house so that the suspect could not re-enter.

Heavy SWAT presence after shots fired in Southeast Fresno (Photo: KMPH Photojournalist: Olen Hogenson)

Around 5:20 a.m. authorities attempted to negotiate with the suspect and get him to surrender, but the man refused to comply.

The man then attempted to walk in a different direction and authorities used less-lethal to try to stop him, however, this was not effective and they were forced to use lethal force and shoot the suspect.

Due to the low-hanging gas in the area causing a dangerous situation, authorities had to rush in and grab the wounded suspect so that EMS could take him to a safe location.

Medical aid was given by EMS, but the suspect died on the scene from his injuries.

According to deputies, the suspect had damaged a propane tank during the incident, which caused the explosion and the gas leak.

Deputies also say they witnessed the suspect in possession of guns multiple times, and they also located multiple loaded guns around the property.

It’s unknown if the man was under the influence of drugs pending a toxicology report.

No deputies were injured.

by Stephen Hawkins/KMPH FOX26, Liz Kern/KMJ

Listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern.