Madera Police say they've seen a spike in gang activity. The latest crime happened in front of the Carls Jr. fast food restaurant, off Highway 99 and Avenue 145 at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday. Police say the five teens involved go to the same high school. Madera Police Detective Sgt. Dino Lawson explained, “We had two Hispanic male juveniles walking southbound on Madera Avenue. Three or four other juveniles approached them from the west side of Madera Avenue, crossed the street.”
Police say the teenagers started yelling gang names at each other. The two victims then started to run away. That's when police say 16-year-old Jesus Espinoza tripped and fell at the corner of the Carl's Jr. parking lot.
“The suspects then approached him as he was laying on the ground and fired four rounds from a handgun at point blank range, striking the victim four times,” said Lawson.
Espinoza was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police say the suspects ran from the crime scene and were found nearby, trying to carjack another person. Police were able to catch and arrest two of the suspects. The third suspect got away.
The investigation is still ongoing. If you have any information on this crime, you're asked to call the Madera Police Department.