SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Eighteen people were shot early Sunday morning in an area of downtown Sacramento well-known for its busy nightlife.
Six people died in the mass shooting that occurred in the area of 10th and K streets around 2 a.m.
By Wednesday, police had connected the deadly events to gang violence and said at least five shooters were involved.
Here’s what we know about Sunday’s shooting so far:
Chaos erupts in downtown Sacramento
Sacramento police said they were patrolling the area when they heard shots being fired in the area of 10th and K streets around 2 a.m. Sunday. Officers said they rushed over to find a large crowd and six people dead in the street.
A witness told the Associated Press her friend saw a girl who appeared to have been shot in the arm lying on the ground. Security guards from a nearby nightclub rushed to help the girl with what looked like napkins to try to stanch the bleeding.
Berry Accius, a community activist, said he came to the scene shortly after the shooting happened.
“The first thing I saw was like victims. I saw a young girl with a whole bunch of blood in her body, a girl taking off glass from her, a young girl screaming saying, ‘They killed my sister.’ A mother running up, ‘Where’s my son, has my son been shot?’“ he said.
“Officers began to give medical aid, including CPR, to victims that they found, and at the same time worked to stabilize the scene and learn what they could about the crime,” explained Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester.
Pop duo Aly and AJ had just performed at the Crest Theatre Saturday night as part of their A Touch of the Beat tour when they said their tour bus was “caught in the crossfire.” They added that everyone in their touring group was fine.
Hip-Hop artist Tyler, The Creator also performed in downtown Sacramento on Saturday night at the nearby Golden 1 Center.
Six killed, 12 wounded
In total, three men and three women were killed. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has identified them as 21-year-old Johntaya Alexander, 57-year-old Melinda Davis, 38-year-old Sergio Harris, 32-year-old Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 21-year-old Yamile Martinez-Andrade and 29-year-old DeVazia Turner.
Twelve other people were also shot and wounded in the melee and at least four of them suffered critical injuries, officials said.
Sacramento police search for suspects
Sacramento police have told FOX40 that Dandrae Martin was allegedly one of the shooters. He made a brief court appearance Tuesday as he faced charges on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convicted person carrying a loaded firearm.
His defense attorney requested his arraignment be continued later in the month so she could review evidence.
Smiley Martin, who was seriously injured in the shooting and is still hospitalized, faces charges of being a prohibited person with a firearm and being in possession of a machine gun.
The elder brother has a long criminal history across state lines. Most recently, Smiley Martin was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in state prison for assaulting his girlfriend, according to court records and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. He served about half of his sentence and was released on probation in February.
A third suspect was arrested after the mass shooting and has since been released from jail. Daviyonne Dawson, 31, faced the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm during an arraignment Wednesday. Sacramento police said that Dawson was not charged with crimes directly relating to the shooting, saying he happened to be there and had a gun on him.
Gang violence, illegal gun
In a press release and a media conference Wednesday, Sacramento police said evidence gathered at Sunday’s scene points to at least two groups of men shooting at each other, with the possibility of more than five shooters being involved.
Police officials said that it’s “increasingly clear that gang violence is at the center of this tragedy.”
While scouring the area, police also confirmed that they recovered a stolen handgun that had been illegally converted into a weapon capable of automatic gunfire.
Sacramento officials said they are aware of social media videos that may show the events that led up to the shooting and are asking the public to submit videos or photos to their investigators. They have created a QR code for witnesses who may have captured the mass shooting on their smartphones, as well as a submission portal online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.