Three dead in Fresno poultry plant shooting


A mass shooting at a Central Fresno business this morning left three people dead and another critically wounded, according to police and Fresno county officials.

One of the dead includes the suspect, who shot himself in the head outside the business and later died in the emergency room.

The incident occurred at Valley Proteins, a poultry processing plant. Fresno police received multiple 911 calls around 8:27 a.m. with reports that a lone gunman had shot several people, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said in a press conference broadcast via KSFN-TV’s website.

Upon arriving to the scene, police found suspect Lawrence Jones, 42, lying in the sidewalk hedges with a handgun next to him. He was still alive, and transported to the local trauma center where he later died.

Another victim, a 32-year-old male with a gunshot wound to the head, was pronounced dead inside the business. The Fresno Bee reports a second victim of the shooter died in the operating room.

Jones has been employed at the poultry plant for the past 14 months, said Dyer. When he checked into work at 4:58 a.m. today, a coworker told police he “did not appear to be himself.”

Less than four hours later, Jones pulled out a handgun and opened fire on his coworkers. At least 30 witnesses saw the events unfold, said Dyer.

Little is known about Jones, except authorites said he is a discharged parolee with an extensive criminal history that goes back into the 90s.

According to eyewitness Jesus Davila, someone from the poultry factory ran up to him while he was waiting at a nearby bus stop. He explained that the gunman, who had just gotten out of jail, was shooting people inside:

“He said the guy was in [prison for] nine years and he was crazy.”

Police have not released the victims’ identities yet. If you are concerned that your loved one may be one of those wounded, please contact Fresno Peace Officer Chaplaincy at (599) 621-2463.

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