Soccer game

Shooting outside a Fresno teen football game at the Hamilton school

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Gunshots rang out Saturday from two cars driving down Clinton Avenue as a teen football game was in progress near Hamilton Elementary School in downtown Fresno. Players and others ran for cover to nearby handball courts. No one was reported injured.

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A shooting involving two cars sent teenage footballers and others rushing to safety in downtown Fresno on Saturday.

Shortly after 11:30 a.m., a 17-and-under football league nearly finished with the first half of their game on the west side of Hamilton Elementary School on Palm and Clinton Avenues.

Six or seven shots rang out from cars — one white car and one dark vehicle — driving down Clinton Avenue, police said.

Football players, coaches and spectators ran to outdoor handball courts near school buildings in search of safety.

“We just took off and hid behind the concrete walls,” said spectator Carlos Iniguez, referring to the courts’ thick three-sided walls.

The game was called off and a portion of Clinton Avenue in the Fresno High neighborhood was blocked off pending the police investigation.

No one was reported injured, either at the game or in the cars, although a pole in front of a house on Clinton Avenue was hit by gunfire, according to Fresno Police Lt. Charlie Chamalbide.

“The supposed victims never stopped, never called us,” he said. “They were following each other, one of them opened fire on the other and both cars took off.”

The cars drove off through nearby residential streets, according to reports on the police radio station.

Shortly after, another report of about 13 shots arrived from Fresno Street and Clinton Avenue, about a mile and a half away.

By the time the police arrived, the cars had disappeared. It’s unclear if the two incidents are related, Chamalbide said.

This story was originally published October 9, 2021 2:25 p.m.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A journalist for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other economic news. She has a journalism degree from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.