SACRAMENTO, California. – Six people were killed and 12 injured in Sacramento last weekend when police said there was a shootout between rival gangs as bars closed and patrons crowded the streets just blocks from California’s Capitol.
The blast of gunfire captured on cellphone video was punctuated by the screams of terrified people ducking for cover. More than 100 bullets were fired during the brief battle – many in rapid-fire bursts.
Police said at least five gunmen from at least two gangs opened fire, but so far the investigation has arrested only three men and none have been charged with murder. Only two of those men – brothers who were among the wounded – have been linked to the shooting, although they are currently only charged with firearms.
Some things you should know about the situation:
WHO WAS ARRESTED AT SHOOTING?
Two brothers, Smiley and Dandrae Martin, are the only people arrested so far who have been linked by police to the shooting.
A third man was arrested near the scene of the shooting with a gun police do not believe was fired during the melee.
Dandrae Martin, 26, is the only suspect identified by police as the gunman. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, but prosecutors have only charged him with one count of possession of a weapon.
Martin, whose gunshot wound was minor, pleaded no plea on charges of being a convict with a gun at a brief hearing in Sacramento Superior Court this week. His attorney said she will not decide whether to seek bail until prosecutors decide whether to charge him with a more serious crime.
Smiley Martin, 27, was seriously injured in the shooting and was arrested in hospital on suspicion of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun.
Both brothers have prior convictions for violently assaulting women they encouraged to work as prostitutes, according to prosecutors and court records.
Smiley Martin was released from prison under the supervision of probation officers in February after serving less than half of his 10-year sentence, as voter-approved changes to state law eased the sentence for some crimes and given a chance at earlier ones offered release.
An even earlier shot at freedom was denied in May 2021 after prosecutors wrote to the parole board, citing Martin’s lengthy criminal record, saying he had “clearly little regard for human life and the law.”
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE SHOT?
Police have yet to reveal what led to the shooting, but a 15-minute video that Smiley Martin posted live to Facebook earlier in the night showed him brandishing a large pistol, a police officer told The Associated Press.
The video, which was posted about four hours before the shooting, was believed to be filmed in a north Sacramento parking lot.
Smiley and Dandrae Martin were in the video along with Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, one of the men who died in the shooting, the official said, who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity .
Investigators believe some of the men involved in the shooting were members of the Crips street gang, the officer said. According to the officer, at least one of the victims had been linked to the Bloods gang by law enforcement.
In the video, Smiley Martin repeatedly waved a gun at the camera and once said he was going to a club but had no ID, the officer said. He also spoke of an affiliation with the Crips street gang, and Hoye-Lucchesi was heard making veiled threats towards someone else, according to the officer.
At other points in the video, the gun appeared to be tucked into Martin’s waistband, the officer said.
The video also showed local police officers driving nearby and calling the group to ask if they had seen a child nearby, the officer said. The men replied that they hadn’t before the officer drove away.
Sacramento Police spokesman Chad Lewis said officers were aware of the video, which included three of the people involved in the shooting. He said the video showed people waving guns and at one point a police cruiser rolled up.
WHAT SPECIES HAVE BEEN SHOT DOWN?
Police have yet to reveal what type of guns were used in the shooting, but they said more than 100 rounds were fired, based on the number of shell casings found.
Witnesses provided more than 200 videos and photos and tips that helped investigators, police said. The explosion of gunfire, heard on videos posted online, had the sound of semi-automatic or automatic weapons.
A stolen handgun found at the scene had been converted into a weapon capable of firing automatic shots. Police were trying to determine if it was used in the shooting.
Smiley Martin faces charges of possession of a machine gun, although police have said nothing about whether that weapon was used in the shooting.
The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said police are trying to determine if the gun Martin was carrying in the video was used in the attack.
Police also seized a handgun during a search of three homes after the shooting.
WHO WERE THE VICTIMS?
They were three fathers raising their young children, a sister driving downtown to pick up her older sister from a night out, a landscaper saving her money for concert tickets, and a woman looking for an apartment lived on the street.
The six people killed were commemorated with memorials on downtown streets containing photos, candles, cards, balloons and, in one case, two empty bottles of Hennessy liquor.
The Sacramento County Coroner identified them as: Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29.
Of the 12 wounded, at least two remained hospitalized as of Friday.
Police said Smiley Martin would be committed to the Sacramento County Jail upon his release from the hospital.
Melley reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Don Thompson in Sacramento, and Michael Balsamo Washington contributed to this report.
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https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/04/08/explainer-sacramento-gang-shooting-killed-6-wounded-12/ Sacramento gang shooting killed 6, wounded 12