At roughly 11:30 a.m. on March 17, Clovis Police dispatch received a call from a person stating he had been shot by a pellet or something similar at the Mountain View Shopping Center on Shaw and Fowler Avenues.
The caller told dispatch that before being hit, he heard the driver of a vehicle yelling racially motivated slurs at him. The victim was able to give a description of the driver and vehicle to dispatch.
Officers responded immediately and were able to locate the vehicle driving recklessly in the area of Ashlan and Armstrong Avenues. Officers were able to pull the vehicle over.
Once pulled over, two male passengers jumped out of the vehicle and fled the scene. However, officers were able to detain the driver and another passenger. After a quick search of the vehicle, officers found a “gel blaster” gun. This is a plastic toy gun that shoots super-absorbent polymer water beads.
Back at the parking lot of Mountain View Shopping Center, officers interviewed the victim, who is a hispanic male. The man told officers he was struck in the shoulder and face but was not injured.
After further investigation, Clovis PD officers arrested 18-year-old Jordon Aubuchon of Clovis for one felony count of a hate crime and one misdemeanor of negligently discharging a BB device. Aubuchon is a white male.
Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming made a statement regarding the incident, “hate crimes have no place in Clovis, will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with swifty.”
Clovis Police have stated that they have noticed an increase of incidents involving young adults shooting “gel blasters” or similar type devices.
The Clovis Police Department would also like to remind everyone that shooting any projectile, especially from a moving vehicle, is dangerous and against the law.