Calif. marijuana shootout results in 2 dead, 2 arrested

Fresno police investigate a shootout that resulted in two deaths early Thursday morning


FRESNO, Calif. - Authorities say the robbery of a marijuana grow in Central California triggered a gun battle in which two people were killed and a 15-year-old girl was used as a human shield by fleeing robbers.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Sims said two gunmen were arrested and three remained at large following Thursday's pre-dawn violence.

According to the Fresno Bee, the incident began when gunmen kicked down the door of a house south of Fresno and exchanged gunfire with the people inside.

Sims said deputies heard the sound of gunfire as they responded to calls and saw two cars speeding away. They were only able to stop one when it pulled up to a hospital with a wounded man in a ski mask.

Suspects in the other car took the girl hostage and dropped her off near downtown Fresno. Authorities are reportedly seeking that car, described as a green Honda with a paper license plate with the word "CORONA."

Another robber found near the house later died of gunshot wounds.

The Bee reports that Sims said there were about 150 marijuana plants in the house, and that the incident was "directly related to drug trafficking and not medical marijuana."