Gang sweep in Sanger nabs one shooting suspect
SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sanger Police have more than doubled the amount of officers battling gangs. That came after a rash of shootings in March. Things seemed to be going well until Thursday night's gang related shooting that resulted in two innocent victims who were injured.
Police officers patrolled the streets of Sanger Friday night determined to bring gang violence to a screeching halt.
Gang task force officers mobilized quickly late Thursday night and all day Friday to find the people responsible for shooting Richard Olivarez and his four year old grandson. Fortunately their injuries were not life threatening. The two ended up being innocent victims of an apparent battle between two rival gangs.
"What this is going to do is just bring more heat down on the gangs as a result of the shooting last night. We're just going to start applying more pressure." said Sanger Police Chief Tom Klose.
They're hard work paid off Friday. Police arrested one person they believe is involved in the crime. They also say they recovered the rifle, car, and clothing used in the attempted murder.
The shooting took place right across the street from Wilson Elementary school which held its carnival festival as scheduled Friday.
Many parents and administrators say the violence didn't stop them from having a good time.
"That is not an indicator at all of this community. This community is a supportive community. They believe in education. They believe in family." said Wilson Elementary Principal Ken Garcia.
Curbing gang violence can be a challenge in a small town. Members of the community action group "Purple Project" say residents here are often afraid to help out police for fear of retaliation.
"There's a spirit of fear in our city if Sanger. People see what goes on but they don't say anything because they're afraid if they say something they're in trouble. But if they're able to just get together and just speak up, we can put a curb to this." said Gary Duran of the Purple Project.
We're told there were three or four suspects in that black Honda from Thursday night's shooting. Police say they have new leads that may result in more arrests next week.
sanger, fresno, gang, local, tommy tran
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