Burglary suspect still barricaded inside Fresno Save Mart following chase, shooting, police chief says

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — An hours-long search continues for a burglary suspect who led deputies on a chase from Fresno’s River Park and barricaded himself inside a Save Mart grocery store.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said authorities have not yet located the man who has been hiding in the store on First Street and Nees Avenue since Thursday evening. The standoff began after a brief chase that started when Fresno County sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop the suspect at the River Park shopping center near Nees and Blackstone Avenue.

The police chief said Fresno SWAT officers had gone into the store with their K9s to search the building, but they hadn’t found him yet.

RELATED: Classes canceled at Kastner Intermediate School in Fresno amid police standoff

He said items had been moved around the store. Officers also found footprints and clothing.

Balderrama said they believe he may have gained access to the roof.

The chief said that’s why he doesn’t want to clear the strip mall, just in case the suspect had made his way into neighboring businesses.

“It’s an inconvenience for our community, and I apologize, but the first concern is public safety,” he said.

Authorities said the unidentified suspect is wanted in connection to a burglary out of Caruthers.

An off-duty Fresno County sheriff’s deputy spotted him and two others outside of Macy’s.

The deputy called for backup. When the suspects saw the deputies closing in, two of them ran back into the Macy’s store.

Deputies chased the suspect down Nees Avenue toward First Street, where the man crashed. He then got out of the car and ran into the Save Mart grocery store.

The store was quickly evacuated. Officials said the suspect was the only person that remained inside.

VIDEO: Drone footage shows officers surrounding Fresno Save Mart

Law enforcement says they’re hoping this can come to a peaceful resolution.

Multiple agencies were surrounding the store Friday morning.

Clovis Unified officials said classes were canceled at Kastner Intermediate School, which is located down the street from the grocery store.

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