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Four Dead, Six Wounded in Mass Shooting in Fresno Backyard

Alex Hall/KQED



Four people were shot dead and six others wounded in a shooting Sunday night in the backyard of a Southeast Fresno home. 

"This was a gathering, a family and friend gathering in the backyard," Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley said at a press conference Sunday. "Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire.”

Shooters opened fire on 10 people in the backyard. Others inside the house were not harmed, police said. 

At least 35 people were at the home when the shooting took place, said Fresno Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Reid.

Police started receiving calls right before 8 p.m. about a shooting in the backyard of a home on the 5300 block of East Lamona Avenue near Caesar Avenue,  Reid said.

Three of the men died in the yard, Reid said. The other man died after being taken to Community Regional Medical Center. Six others were taken to hospitals with  non-life-threatening injuries, Reid said.

 “Thank God that no kids were hurt,” Reid said.

Reid said all of the victims were Asian males.“We’ll do everything we can to find out who the perpetrators are and bring them to justice,” Reid said. 

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, the four men shot and killed have been identified by the Coroner’s Office but their names won’t be released until the families are notified. Their ages range from 23 to 40.  


However, according to Hmong Talk, an online news source, one of the dead was identified as a famous Hmong singer, Xyy Lee

“We have received confirmation from his family member that Xy Lee, the famous Hmong singer was indeed one of the victim that was shot and killed at the family gathering. This is truly a heart breaking time for everyone involved. Thank you for all the beautiful music that you have have created . You will truly be miss! RIP!” the group said in a Facebook post.

The group also said another Hmong singer, JN Vang, was a shooting victim.

“The singer JN Vang was also confirmed to be one of the victim that was shot at the gathering! Fortunately he is currently undergoing surgery right now! Hoping and praying for a fast recovery!” another Facebook post said.

Jerry Dyer, the former Chief of the Fresno Police Department and Fresno mayoral candidate, said in a statement, "As a citizen of this community and former Police Chief, I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence in our city. 

“I know first hand the impact these types of incidents have on the families, the community, and those who responded to the scene.  I encourage everyone to be in prayer for them.”

Dyer said he has reached to Police Chief Andy Hall and Deputy Chief Michael Reid to offer his support and his confident the department will solve the crime and bring the criminals to justice. 

Local elected leaders reacted to news of the shooting on Twitter. 

Mayor Lee Brand tweeted a statement this morning: “My prayers go out to the victims and their families, along with the promise that those responsible for this horrific crime will face the full force of justice. The City of Fresno will not tolerate this type of violence in any of our neighborhoods. We will add whatever resources that are necessary to find those responsible.

This senseless tragedy does not define us – rather, our response and unity as a community will and I have complete confidence in our collective resolve.”


Last night, mayoral candidate Andrew Janz tweeted: “We are closely monitoring an alleged mass shooting in Fresno this evening.We are praying for peace and calm as we continue to investigate. My thoughts are with the victims and their families."

State Senator Melissa Hurtado, who represents Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties, said the shooting was “tragic.”

“We are in contact with Mayor Brand and Fresno officials,” she tweeted Sunday night. “The state stands ready to respond with any assistance that’s needed.”

California Congressional candidate and Fresno councilmember Esmeralda Soria tweeted, “My prayers to the families that have been impacted by this senseless act. We must do more! #NotOneMore #EndGunViolence

So far in 2019, the state has seen more than three dozen mass shootings, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization tracking the issue.

This story is being updated.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
Monica Velez was a reporter at Valley Public Radio. She started out as a print reporter covering health issues in Merced County at the Merced Sun-Star.
Alice Daniel was News Director for KVPR from 2019-2022. Daniel has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and more than 25 years of experience as a print and radio journalist.