Four people who were watching football with friends and family members at a home in Fresno became the latest victims of a mass shooting Sunday night.
An additional six people were injured, and 25 to 35 more were attending the gathering on East Lamona Avenue, near Caesar Avenue, when two gunmen opened fire at about 8 p.m. local time on Sunday, November 17, 2019. All of the victims, both deceased and injured, were adult men, Fresno Deputy Chief Michael Reid said during a press conference a few hours after the shooting.
“Most of them had jerseys on, and something terrible happened,” said Deputy Chief Reid.
The victims were identified during a press conference as men ages 23, 31, 38 and 40. The surviving victims were identified as men ages 21 to 36. Police did not release the names of the victims during the press conference because they were waiting for confirmation that their families were notified. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office released the names Monday afternoon.
“This was truly a good group of people that were simply having a party,” said Fresno Police Deputy Chief Andrew Hall.
Women and children were also in attendance.
“Thank God that no kids were hurt,” he said.
The neighborhood consists of single-story homes. The area remained cordoned off and nearby roads were closed to traffic Monday morning, including Peach and Olive avenues, according to local news reports.
“This has been a tough time for everyone involved,” Hmong Talk wrote on Facebook. “We hope and pray that everyone involved can some how heal from this trauma, especially the families grieving and left with unanswered questions.”
Names, tributes and photos will be added as the names of the victims are identified and as additional information is released.
Here are the names of those tragically killed in Fresno:
Xy Lee was a well-known Hmong singer who was tragically among those killed in the backyard shooting in Fresno during a gathering to watch Sunday night football. He was 23 years old and lived in Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. His death was first confirmed by a family member within hours of the shooting. Tributes quickly poured in for the singer. Among the first to pay tribute was Facebook group Hmong Talk.
“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,” the group wrote on Facebook. “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!”
Fans responded with heartbreak, flooding the post with comments.
“Senseless tragedy!!” one person wrote. “It’s horrible as to what the world has come to… so much violence…. My condolences to the victims family.. God, please protect us all from evil.. God please come soon.”
He was married to SuabNag Yaj. Fans also commented on her page, writing about meeting the singer or sharing stories about the impact of his music.
“Xyy Lee, Rest In Peace os mog. I just met you last Friday,” one fan wrote. “You were such a handsome singer with your beautiful girl SuabNag Yaj. I know the earth is cruel. Go on your journey. Im too sad. So sad. I am crying my heart out for you os. Mus zoo koj os mog.”
Xy Lee posted on Facebook just hours before his death, sharing a teaser for an upcoming release.
“J Vang – Niam Tsev Lub Kua Muag (TEASER MV) Coming Soon!” he wrote.
Phia Vang was 31 years old and lived in Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Kou Xiong was 38 years old and lived in Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. He lived at the house where the shooting took place, according to KMPH. Xiong hosted the gathering.
Those who were killed also played in a soccer league together, according to ABC 30. Xiong’s uncle, Neaq Xiong, told the news station his nephew died in the shooting.
“These are good people,” he told ABC 30.
Kalaxang Thao was 40 years old and lived in Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Police Are Working to Identify Suspects & a $5,000 Reward Is Offered for Information
Law enforcement are still working to identify suspects. Those who survived the shooting could not see the person firing a gun because of the darkness, Fresno Police said at a Monday morning press conference. Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information about the shooting can call Fresno PD at 559-621-7000 or anonymously by calling Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP.
Fresno Police and EMS crews arrived on the scene Sunday night to find three people dead on the scene of a football watching party that turned into a mass shooting. Fresno Deputy Police Chief Michael Reid said officers immediately began performing CPR on the injured victims. A fourth person was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Reid’s full statement said:
Right before 8 o’clock tonight we started receiving 911 calls about shootings that occurred on East Lamona, specifically the 5300 block of East Lamona. As officers arrived, we began to get several calls about shooting victims also in the area. Officers came in and they saw three people that were down immediately. They were all Asian males between 25 and 30, and CPR was started immediately. There was about 35 people that it looks like that were inside the house and inside the backyard. They were at a football party, so this was a family gathering. The initial information is that somebody came up on foot possibly, at least one suspect, and began firing. They fired into the backyard where most of the people were in this party, striking 10 people in the course of that gunshot. Preliminarily, three people died on scene, all Asian males between the ages of 25 and 30. One was critical and was transported to CRMC where he succumbed to his injuries. We have five additional people at CRMC with non-life threatening gunshot wounds, and one Asian male that came up later on, during the investigation, and said that he had a graze wound. He was taken to St. Agnes Medical Center where he is receiving treatment right now. First off, our heart goes out to the families that were the victims of the thing. This was senseless violence. We’re going to do everything we can to find out who the perpetrators are and bring them to justice. But right now, what we want is our thoughts and prayers going out for the victims and the survivors of this senseless shooting right now.