US police make first arrest in connection with Sacramento’s latest mass shootings – ABC News

Police in the US city of Sacramento have made their first arrest in connection with the shootings that killed six people and wounded a dozen others in the heart of California’s capital early on Sunday morning, local time.

At least two shooters had allegedly fired more than 100 rounds during the attack, as people ran for their lives, investigators have determined.

Police said they arrested Dandre Martin, 26, as a “related suspect” on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun.

Detectives and SWAT team members found one handgun during searches of three homes in the area.

The arrest came as the six people killed were identified.

Sacramento County’s coroner identified the three women killed as Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21. The three men killed were Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and Devazia Turner, 29.

Of the 12 people wounded, at least four suffered critical injuries, the Sacramento Fire Department said. At least seven of the victims had been released from hospitals by Monday.

A male and a female police officer stand near a parked car, among a large number of evidence tags placed on the ground.A male and a female police officer stand near a parked car, among a large number of evidence tags placed on the ground.
Investigators search for evidence in the area of the shooting.(AP: Rich Pedroncelli)

Detectives were trying to determine if a stolen handgun found at the crime scene was connected to the shooting, Police Chief Kathy Lester said. She pleaded with the public to share videos and other evidence that could lead to the killers being apprehended.

“The scale of violence that just happened in our city is unprecedented during my 27 years here,” Ms Lester told reporters during a news conference.

“We are shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy.”

Mr Martin was held without bail and was scheduled to appear in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday, local time, according to jail records.

His criminal record was not disclosed but records showed he was also wanted on a misdemeanour warrant by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in Southern California.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Martin had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

At the scene where the chaos erupted, streets were reopened on Monday and police tape had been removed.

On sidewalks where video had shown victims writhing in pain, memorials began to grow with candles, balloons, flowers and stuffed animals paying tribute to the lives lost.

A bunch of balloons, with one carrying a written message beginning with the words 'I love you'.A bunch of balloons, with one carrying a written message beginning with the words 'I love you'.
A message for one of the victims, written on a balloon at a nearby memorial.(AP: Rich Pedroncelli)

One balloon had a message on it saying, in part: “You will forever be in our hearts and thoughts. Nothing will ever be the same.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other city officials decried escalating violence in the city while also urging people to keep coming downtown for events such as major basketball games and performances of the Broadway musical Wicked.

“We can never accept it as normal and we never will,” Mr Steinberg said of the shooting. “But we also have to live our lives.”

The gunfire erupted just after a fight broke out on a street lined by an upscale hotel, nightclubs and bars. Police said they were investigating whether the altercation was connected to the shootings.

Video from witnesses posted on social media showed rapid gunfire for at least 45 seconds as people screamed and ran for cover.

A small memorial of candles, flowers and a plush rabbit toy next to a concrete pillar, as a person walks past.A small memorial of candles, flowers and a plush rabbit toy next to a concrete pillar, as a person walks past.
A person passes a memorial near the location of the mass shootings.(AP: Rich Pedroncelli)

From her window on the fourth floor of the Citizen Hotel, 18-year-old Kelsey Schar said she saw a man running while firing a gun.

Sunday’s violence was the third time in the US this year that at least six people have been killed in a mass shooting, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. And it was the second mass shooting event in Sacramento in the past five weeks.

US President Joe Biden called for action on gun crimes in a statement on Sunday, local time.

“Today, America once again mourns for another community devastated by gun violence,” Mr Biden said. “But we must do more than mourn. We must act.”

AP



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