Investigation underway after someone shoots through windows of church


    <p>The Fresno Police Department says it is investigating a possible hate crime at a church in Fresno. (FOX26 photo) {/p}

    UPDATE: A man left more than $6,000 dollars worth of damages at Family Restoration Church in Northwest Fresno. Wednesday police addressed 33-year-old Alvarado Pena, accused of breaking and shooting through church windows. Pena was arrested and charged with felony vandalism. In all, a total of 15 windows were broken. Police say right away they could tell four of the windows were shot out with a pellet gun. Investigators say a witness pointed them to Pena.

    "He denied it, but he did say. If that happened to that church they deserved it," said Fresno Police Lt. Joe Gomez.

    Police searched his home and found a surgical mask, a pellet gun and his mother's walking cane which they think was used to break-out 11 of the window. Detectives say that was enough evidence to charge Pena with felony vandalism. It was determined a possible motive, police say he has family who attends the church and it's possible the attack sparked out of a family issue.

    "He has been there, he is not a member but he has been to the church. We believe it is something related to the family. He has some type of vendetta or grudge against them," said Gomez.


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    The Fresno Police Department says it is investigating a possible hate crime at a church in Fresno.

    It happened Wednesday at the Family Restoration Church on Valentine and Clinton.

    According to police, someone forced their way onto the property of the church and fired a pellet gun through the windows of the church.

    Police say the person also took off the church's sign.

    The person forced their way onto the property by kicking open a gate, police say.

    Police say they have reason to believe the person acted alone.

    "Whenever someone attacks a house of worship, we take this very seriously, because we're not sure what their motivation is. This could be a hate crime, and we're going to treat it as that until we find evidence that tells us it's not," said Fresno Police Captain Burke Farrah.

    If you were in the area and if you saw anything this morning, Fresno Police are asking for you to give them a call at 621-7000 and let police know you're calling about the church vandalism.

    Fresno Police say they are also investigating possible crimes that might be related to the vandalism.


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