One of the men killed in Sunday’s mass shooting in Southeast Fresno was a young musician named Xy Lee, who had tens of thousands of Youtube followers. Despite implications from the Fresno Police Department that the shooting could have been gang-related, Lee’s family asserts he was no gang member.
In his music videos, 23-year-old Xy Lee is clean-shaven, baby-faced, and always dressed sharply in a tie or suspenders. Behind a keyboard or holding a guitar, he mostly sings love songs, often with other singers or traditional Hmong dancers.
Speaking at a media event on Wednesday, Lee’s older brother Kou Lee described Xy as a young man who’d been interested in music from childhood and had fans of all ages who have emerged to send condolences to his family. “His fans from across the world, sending letters, thousands and thousands of letters to them, of love, an outpour of love,” he said through an interpreter.
Although Fresno Chief of Police Andy Hall was careful to stop short of calling Sunday’s shooting a gang crime, he did announce the formation of a new gang task force that will be investigating “Asian gangs.”
When asked whether his little brother could have been in a gang, Kou Lee tearfully switched to English and said no. “My brother is the nicest person that I have known,” he said. “He’s a person that everyone wants to be friends with.”
At the same media event, three Fresno City Councilmembers officially launched a fundraising campaign to raise $500,000 for the Lees and the families of the other victims.