Fresno teens chased their killers before being shot

Friday, December 23, 2011

It all started, at the intersection of Herndon and Polk in Northwest Fresno. Police say 19 year old Justin Hesketh was in his pickup, with his friend 16 year old Brandon Moore and another teen, when four teens, led by 18 year old Jarrad Beard walked across the street in front of them. Dirty looks were exchanged and as Hesketh drove off, police say Beard fired a shot at the truck. Those in the truck thought a rock was thrown at them, and Police Chief Jerry Dyer says they decided to act.

"Justin Hesketh and Brandon Moore got out of the vehicle and began to chase the four suspects that were on foot. Hesketh and Moore caught up with one member of the group on the grounds of this apartment complex. They were able to catch him and grab him by the clothing and they were attempting to hold him when both Jarred Beard and his 16 year old brother both of them pulled out handguns and began firing at Hesketh and Moore."

Dyer said seven shots were fired. Justin Hesketh died at the scene. Brandon Moore died later at the hospital. Jarrad Beard and his younger brother Jerry ran to a relative's house nearby. Police tracked them down Wednesday night. Police say they found weapons in the house and that both confessed to the shootings. Police Chief Jerry Dyer says both are associated with a West Fresno street gang. He said this incident is a tragic warning of just how dangerous it can be to take the law into your own hands.

"The difficulty in doing that is you never know who you are chasing on foot. You never know who you are confronting and in this case these were gang members who were armed with firearms and chose to use those firearms and take the lives of these two young men."

Justin Hesketh had attended Central East High School and according to his Facebook page was a student at Fresno State. Brandon Moore is believed to have been a Central East student.

Police say Jarrad Beard and his 15 year old brother Jerry were both associated with a West Fresno gang. Both are being held in the Fresno County Jail on murder charges. Even though Jerry Beard is 15, he is being charged as an adult.

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