Fresno Man Shot Dead at His Own Birthday Party by 16-year-old Gatecrasher, Say Police

A man was shot dead as a gang of juveniles gatecrashed his 22nd birthday party. The victim had tried to take the gun from the 16-year-old suspected to have fired the weapon.

Police say five members of the "bulldog gang" started barking when they arrived at the property at East Pico Avenue in Fresno where Nicholas Polin was celebrating his birthday in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Polin asked the group to leave, which they did, but they returned 10 minutes later at around 2.30 a.m. One gang member, aged 16, pulled out a handgun which he fired into the ceiling at the party, attended by around 60 people.

Polin tried to grab the suspect and take the weapon off him but the gunman pulled away and fired rounds into him.

Fresno Police chief Jerry Dyer told a news conference that the suspect was attacked by other party goers after the shooting. He was later treated at Saint Agnes Medical Center with significant head wounds, ABC News reported.

"We believe it was this 16-year-old who was at the party, shot Nicholas Polin and he was struck multiple times on the head requiring him to have medical treatment," Dyer said.

The victim's sister, Amanda, paid tribute to her "gentle" brother, describing him as a "big old teddy bear," who "Loves all of us," Your Central Valley reported.

His mother, who was not named in the report, said: "My son had a heart of gold for everybody, his family, his friends" and said that he was not in any gang, adding: "he went to work everyday."

Dyer said that it was not known why the gang turned up at the house but they may have found out about it via social media. Fresno Police said the gang wanted to harm somebody.

He said his department now deals with children as young as 13 years old being recruited into gangs by 16 or 17-year-olds.

"We're dealing with individuals who have a different mentality. They would not have a firearm unless they intended to use it. They really don't care about the outcome," he said, according to ABC.

The victim's family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for the funeral. So far around $3,000 of the $15,000 wanted has been raised. It stated how he was "a wonderful pure spirited young man who was taken from us while celebrating his 22nd birthday."

"This unexpected tragedy has affected the family and many others…he will be greatly missed, we love you Niko," the page's message said.