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Police search for suspects in backyard shooting

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‘Unknown suspects’ sneaked into the backyard at about 6pm on Sunday and fired into the crowd.

Police in the central California city of Fresno were yesterday searching for suspects and trying to determine a motive for the killing of four people at a backyard party and the wounding of six as dozens were watching football on TV.

Police spokesperson, Bill Dooley, said “unknown suspects” sneaked into the backyard at about 6pm on Sunday and fired into the crowd.

Fresno Deputy Police Chief Michael Reid told the Fresno Bee newspaper and the KSEE/KGPE TV stations that 10 people were shot and that three were found dead in the backyard. A fourth person died at the hospital. Six others are expected to survive and were recovering at a hospital.

The victims were men ranging in age from 25 to 35, Reid said.

“What we do know is that this was a gathering, a family and friends gathering in the backyard,” Dooley said. “Everyone was watching football when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire.”

The victims were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in critical condition, and some are now in stable condition. About 35 people were at the party when the shooting began, Reid said.

“Thank God that no kids were hurt,” he said.

No one had been taken into custody and authorities said there was no immediate indication that the victims knew the shooter or shooters. Police were going door-to-door in search of surveillance video.

Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the shooting.