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Deputies chase Fresno man driving stolen car. Then shots were fired. Now, questions remain

·2 min read
Courtesy photo/Fresno County Sheriff's Office

A Fresno man was arrested Thursday for driving a stolen car and could face additional charges that stem from shots being fired as deputies chased the suspect, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Fabian Mansanalez, 32, was arrested following a 20-minute pursuit by deputies around 4 p.m. in southwest Fresno.

Initially, Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies with the Fresno HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) team spotted the stolen car with no one inside near the intersection of Jensen Avenue and Golden State Boulevard.

Shortly after, a man (later identified as Mansanalez) got inside the vehicle and drove off, prompting deputies to follow.

But Mansanalez soon noticed he was being followed and started to drive erratically, which led to a 20-minute chase, according to the sheriff’s office.

The chase wound into a dirt alley.

What happened next remains under investigation.

The sheriff’s office said that one of the deputies was tracking the car along the dirt alley when a bunch of dust kicked up and made it difficult for the deputy to see.

It was at that moment that gunshots were heard, according to the sheriff’s office.

It was not immediately known if the shots were fired at the deputy or if the shots came from Mansanalez.

“We don’t know if the gunshots were in the direction of the deputy,” Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said. “It could’ve very well come from somebody living in the neighborhood. That’s part of the investigation.”

Mansanalez was arrested after ditching the car in a driveway near Modoc and Whitesbridge avenues and trying to elude law enforcement on foot. Deputies placed a perimeter around the home and eventually took Mansanalez in without resistance.

No gun was found in the car, but Fresno Police, who have taken over the investigation, were checking to see if the suspect might’ve discarded a gun elsewhere.