The Latest – Tuesday, March 1
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has released the identifications of the four shooting victims and the deceased suspected shooter.
The deceased girls have been identified as 9-year-old Samarah Mora Gutierrez, 10-year-old Samantha Mora Gutierrez and 13-year-old Samia Mora Gutierrez.
The 59-year-old man, who officials said was supervising the family’s visit, has been identified as Nathaniel Kong.
The suspected shooter is 39-year-old David Mora Rojas.
Original story below:
ARDEN-ARCADE, Calif. (KTXL) — The Arden-Arcade community is in mourning after a gunman opened fire at a church Monday, allegedly killing his three children and a man before killing himself.
A makeshift memorial was set up outside the gates of The Church in Sacramento to honor the victims who were killed inside, including three girls, ages 9, 10 and 13.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said the shooter had a restraining order against him and had to have supervised visits with his children. Sheriff’s officials believe a supervised visit was taking place at the church when the man opened fire.
Investigators said just after 5 p.m., a church employee heard several gunshots and ran out to call for help.
When deputies arrived at the Wyda Way church, they found all five people dead inside.
The gunman is also accused of killing a 59-year-old man who was believed to have supervised the visit.
The shooter has not been identified, but officials say he was 39 years old.
Officials said the mother of the children is alive and physically OK.
A member of the church who identifies as Alfredo and lives on the church property reacted to the shooting Tuesday.
“If there’s a message to be taken here it’s that we love one another. We learn to forgive one another,” Alfredo said. “We don’t know when it’s here and when it’s done and gone. My message is to forgive and not hold on to resentment.”
Church officials sent FOX40 the following statement:
The leadership of The Church in Sacramento is shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting that occurred in our church meeting hall late Monday, February 28, resulting in the deaths of five of our members, including three young girls from one of our families.The Church in Sacramento
Our church body is devastated and heartbroken by this senseless tragedy and we ask for continued prayer for the victims, their family and our faith community as we grapple with this unexpected loss and trust the Lord for His strength in our grief.
We continue to cooperate with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in their investigation, are committed to ministering to anyone in need during this difficult time and are doing everything possible to provide comfort to our congregation as we come together as a church family
Throughout Tuesday morning, several people came by the church to pay their respects with flowers, candles and a teddy bear.
“It could have been my child and any other children that could have been playing in those apartments,” said neighbor Yadira Ortega. “My kids play outside. I’m just thankful it wasn’t us.”
“This was supposed to be a place of sanctuary, a safe haven, a meeting place,” said neighbor Sandi Davis. “This did not have to happen. This has got to stop. This has got to stop.”
Sacramento County District 3 Supervisor Rich Desmond, who represents the Arden-Arcade area, said he saw the sheriff’s vehicles Monday night as they raced to the church.
“So whenever something like this happens I start getting a lot of calls from people. And people are confused and they want details and they want answers,” Desmond told FOX40. “And they want, most importantly, they want to show their concern for the family, but they want to make sure that they’re safe as well. So I’m out here, the county’s out here and available to help people and help mourn this loss and help figure out ways we can avoid a horrific, horrific violent act like this from happening again.”
In a message sent out Tuesday morning, the Natomas Unified School District said the three girls attended Bannon Creek School and Leroy Greene Academy. The district said it will help fellow students cope with this tragedy.