Man killed by Fresno detective had appeared in court that day


A man who was shot and killed Tuesday after allegedly attacking a Fresno police detective had appeared in court that morning for a sentencing hearing, Fresno County court records show.

Joseph Roy of Fresno entered the Fresno Police Department headquarters sometime before 11:45 am and attacked a detective on the first floor, hitting him with a “sharp object,” police officials said. The detective pulled out his firearm and shot Roy, 24, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The detective was not involved in Roy’s case, Fresno police said Wednesday.

“We know this for certain: There’s no connection between the detective who was assaulted and Mr. Roy,” Lt. William Dooley said at a news conference. “They’ve never had contact. The detective has never worked any of [Roy’s] boxes.”

Officials did not say which unit the detective was assigned to.

The detective, who was identified only as a 24-year Police Department veteran, had been released from the hospital; photos released Wednesday by police showed multiple cuts on the right side of his head and face.

The Fresno County district attorney’s office is investigating the detective’s shooting of Roy.

Roy had been arrested in 2018 and 2021 on suspicion of felonies and had also been placed on mental health holds twice, Dooley said. The lieutenant did not specify a reason behind the holds.

Roy pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and he appeared Tuesday in Fresno County Superior Court for a sentencing hearing.

That charge, in addition to one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, stemmed from a June 2021 incident, according to court records.

A judge postponed Roy’s sentencing until April 12, granting a defense motion filed “due to defendant inability to respond,” court records show. Roy remained released on a surety bond after the hearing.

Blaine Sullivan, a public defender who represented Roy on Tuesday, declined to comment.

Roy had faced up to four years in prison for the assault charge, according to the Fresno County district attorney’s office.

“However, the indicated sentence from the Court was probation with the opportunity to earn a misdemeanor reduction,” Taylor Long, chief of staff for Dist. Atti. Lisa Smittcamp, wrote in an email to The Times.

Investigators do not know how or why Roy traveled to police headquarters or how he entered the building.

“There’s some time that took place between when he left the courthouse and when the assault on our detective took place,” Dooley said. “We don’t know exactly what happened during that time.”

The lieutenant said investigators were interviewing family members and witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage to piece together a timeline and motivate.

After Tuesday’s incident, the department strengthened building security and assigned an officer to a public-facing door, Dooley said.

It was not clear whether Roy entered through that door or through another, non-public entrance behind secured gates. Members of the public must be escorted into the building, Dooley said.

Fresno police detectives do not wear body cameras, and there are no internal surveillance cameras at the headquarters, Dooley said.


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