Authorities in Sacramento now say Sunday’s deadly shooting that killed six and injured 12 more was an exchange of gunfire between rival gangs. Two brothers have been arrested so far, and law enforcement is looking for at least three others.
Two of the men killed are believed to be gang members. Court documents refer to 38-year-old Sergio Harris as a member of the Del Paso Bloods, and police identified another fatality as Josh Hoye-Lucchesi, a member of the Crips.
In a Wednesday release, police said it is clear that gang violence caused the horrific shootings. Detectives say there were two groups involved in the exchange of gunfire, and while they are not elaborating on the specific gang affiliations, “gangs and gang violence are inseparable from the events that drove these shootings.”
Police credit almost 200 videos submitted to investigators for their assistance in putting details together from a violent and chaotic scene.
The killings, just blocks from California’s Capitol, erupted as bars were letting out, and over 100 rounds were fired as crowds filled the streets. Experts say the sheer number of victims is extremely rare, as gangs generally target rivals in drive-by assaults that tend to have fewer victims.
At least two people remain hospitalized recovering from gunshot wounds, and one is 27-year-old suspect Smiley Martin. He was just released from prison in February after serving almost half of a 10-year sentence for beating his girlfriend.
The parole board denied his release last year after prosecutors told them he “clearly has little regard for human life.” Just hours before the shooting, he posted a live video on Facebook of himself with a handgun.
His brother, 26-year-old Dandrae Martin, was also arrested as a “related suspect” and faces a gun charge. No homicide charges have been filed as the investigation continues, but police say they believe he fired a gun during the incident.
The initial narrative of a “mass shooting” spun by gun control advocates quickly proved to be erroneous. And in the state that has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, removing even more weapons from law abiding citizens will only exacerbate the violence and create more defenseless victims.