FRESNO, Calif. --Authorities are investigating a home invasion that led to a shootout and the kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl near Easton in Fresno County.
The violence began has a home invasion robbery near Orange Avenue and American Avenue.
Fresno County Sheriff's Office investigators were piecing together the homicide investigation late Thursday morning. They said at this point, it appears the victims fired back at the suspects during a very violent home invasion. In the process, one of the suspects was shot and killed during the gun battle.
Investigators say the incident started around 4 a.m. on Thursday morning when deputies were called out to a house on the 5100 block of Orange Avenue. Deputies said they arrived to find a very chaotic scene. The residents and suspects were involved in a shootout and during the exchange, a 15-year-old girl was taken by the suspects.
"When the shootout was going on, they actually grabbed her -- took her. She was in one of the vehicles... she has since been located and she is back with her family," said Chris Curtice, Fresno County Sheriff's Department.
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Deputies arrived to find two cars leaving the area at a high rate of speed. They discontinued the chase when speeds became so high, it was determined to be too dangerous.
Family members say the 15-year-old kidnapping victim was dropped off in Downtown Fresno near Community Regional Medical Center.
One of the cars, a black Honda, turned up a short time later at Community Regional Medical Center. One of the people in the car was critically injured, and later died inside the hospital. The car has now been seized as evidence and two people who were in the car are being questioned.
There are a total of three crime scenes that investigators are processing surrounding the incident. The first scene is at the home where the shootout occurred. The second scene is at Community Regional Medical Center. And the third scene is on Highway 41 near Jensen where investigators believe the suspects may have tried to ditch evidence.
Family members say they did not know the suspects.