Saturday, January 7, 2012

Justin Hesketh and Brandon Moore


Police: 'Mean looks' led to shooting deaths of 2 Fresno teen

"Mean looks" between groups of teens Tuesday night sparked a confrontation that led to the shooting deaths of two teens, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Thursday.

Two other teens -- Jarrad Beard, 19, and his 16-year-old brother -- were arrested after the shootings. Dyer said the brothers, who were booked on two counts of murder each, are gang members. Beard was booked into the Fresno County Jail, while his brother was booked into the Juvenile Justice Center.

Before announcing the arrests, Dyer expressed his condolences to the families of shooting victims Justin Hesketh, 18, and Brandon Moore, 16, both of Fresno.

Hesketh and Moore were not associated with any gang, police said.

"This was a senseless act of violence," Dyer said. "It all stemmed from mean looks, and now two teenagers are dead."

Thursday evening, Debie Hesketh reflected on her son's life.

Reached by telephone during a family gathering, Hesketh said her son had just completed his first semester at California State University, Fresno, after graduating from Central High School in June.

When asked what her son liked to do, she spoke to others in the room: "What did Justin like?"

Video games, skateboarding, baseball, music and spending time with his friends, the group answered.

Hesketh said her son and Moore were friends. She said Moore was a student at Central.

Moore's family could not be reached.

Hesketh was driving a pickup west on Herndon Avenue just before 6 p.m. Tuesday; Moore and an unidentified 16-year-old boy were passengers, Dyer said. Hesketh was waiting to turn south onto Polk Avenue when four teens walking in the crosswalk passed in front of the truck.

Menacing looks were exchanged between the two groups, Dyer said.

When Hesketh turned south on Polk, Beard shot at the truck and hit a tire, Dyer said.

Hesketh, Moore and the other boy didn't realize they had been shot at but thought one of the other boys had thrown a rock at the truck.

After Hesketh pulled the truck over, he and Moore got out and chased the four boys while the 16-year-old passenger stayed in the truck, Dyer said.

Hesketh and Moore grabbed a 16-year-old boy in the apartment complex and were holding him when Beard and his brother fired seven rounds from two handguns. Hesketh and Moore were struck "multiple times," Dyer said.

The four boys ran to the nearby home of a relative in the 6600 block of North Western Avenue, authorities said. Alerted by witnesses to the boys' location, police served a search warrant at the house and arrested Beard and his brother. The two other boys were questioned and have not been charged.

Police also recovered two handguns and some ammunition.

Dyer said the 16-year-old brother confessed and has written a letter of apology to the families. Beard later admitted his involvement in the shooting, Dyer said.

"The brothers are in gangs and had guns. They were clearly ready to do violence," Dyer said. They did not have prior criminal records, Dyer said.

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Plus his 16 year old brother

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