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Fresno chicken plant shooting: Witness describes chaotic scene

November 6, 2012 |  2:10 pm

Roger Medina, 44, was in central Fresno on his way to pick up trophies for his soccer team when he saw a man in full meat-cutter gear running down the street screaming.

"Somebody's shooting!" the man yelled. "Get help!"

Medina, who has CPR training, pulled over on Hedges Avenue.

"I look down the street," he recalled. "People in full sanitary gear, the hairnets and all, were running and screaming. Some people were crying."

Medina then looked at the ground. About 12 feet away lay a man, also wearing meat cutter garb, bleeding from the head. A second man was standing over him.

"I look at the guy's eyes and he says, 'He's still alive. He's the shooter and he's still alive,' " Medina recalled.

"His head was bleeding and his breathing was shallow. He was face down. I couldn't tell you anything about what he looked like — he was covered by his uniform," Medina said. "Then in like seconds there were cops and firemen and paramedics rushing to help the ones who were shot."

Police said the wounded man was Lawrence Jones, 42, an employee at the Valley Protein plant — formerly Apple Vally Farms — who opened fire on his coworkers about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday before shooting himself in the head.

Three people were killed in the shooting, including Jones, police and coroner's officials said. Two other people were wounded.

Jones — whom Dyer described as a "discharged parolee" with an "extensive criminal history" who worked at the plant for 14 months — was in critical condition at an area hospital.

Dyer said investigators still weren't sure what prompted Jones to open fire, but said a coworker told authorities Jones "did not appear himself when he came into work" about 5 a.m. Hours later, Dyer said, he pulled out a gun and started shooting.

"I heard pops," said Yeprem Barbarian, who passed the plant during the shooting on his way to his tire shop. "I thought it was tires. Then I walked in, turned on the TV and saw the police cars and sirens showing up."


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— Diana Marcum in Fresno and Kate Mather in Los Angeles