Johntaya Alexander. Melinda Davis. Sergio Harris. Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi. Yamile Martinez-Andrade. Devazia Turner.
These are the six people who were fatally shot in Sacramento early Sunday morning. They range in age from 21-57.
Mr. Harris, 38, was a father and described as a “very vivacious young man,” according to local media reports. Ms. Alexander, or JoJo as she was known by her friends and family, was 21 and planned to become a social worker, KCRA-TV reported. Ms. Davis, 57, was unhoused and remembered by friends and acquaintances as “kind and gentle,” “a good woman” and “sassy.”
More information about the victims, their lives and how they impacted their community, was still coming to light Monday afternoon.
Another 12 people suffered gunshot wound injuries in the mass shooting that occurred at about 2 a.m. Sunday just a couple of blocks away from the state Capitol, police said. Their conditions vary.
More than 100 extended shell casings have been found near the corner of 10th and K streets in the aftermath of the shooting, police said. Investigators have identified multiple buildings and cars struck by the early morning gunfire.
Dandrae Martin, 26, has been arrested and booked for assault and illegal firearm possession charges. He is a “related suspect” in the shooting, police said Monday.
It is the second mass shooting to rock the Sacramento area already this year. In February, a 39-year-old man fatally shot his three daughters and another man before dying by suicide during a court-ordered visit with his children at a church.
And it’s prompted national and state leaders to issue familiar calls for stronger gun control measures, including in a state already known for its firearm regulations.
President Joe Biden called on Congress to ban ghost guns, require background checks for all sales, repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability and more.
“America once again mourns for another community devastated by gun violence. In a single act in Sacramento, six individuals (were) left dead and at least a dozen more injured,” President Biden said in a statement. “Families forever changed. Survivors left to heal wounds both visible and invisible.”
“But we must do more than mourn; we must act,” the president said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom had a similar call to action: “What we do know at this point is that another mass casualty shooting has occurred, leaving families with lost loved ones, multiple individuals injured and a community in grief. The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”
“Enough is enough. The sickening gun violence plaguing our communities must end. There have been about as many mass shootings in America as days so far in 2022,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “My office continues our work to get illegal guns off our streets, hold those responsible for gun violence accountable and push for — and defend in court — common-sense gun laws. This work is urgent. We must act now.”
As of Monday afternoon, there was still much unknown about the tragic shooting.
But here’s what’s known so far:
— Sacramento police have said multiple shooters may have been involved.
— Mr. Martin, the man arrested as a “related suspect,” was charged with possession of an illegal firearm.
— At least one handgun was recovered by police as search warrants were executed at various residences in the area Monday.
— Officials are working to determine if a stolen handgun found at the scene is connected to the shooting.
— Investigators are reviewing a video posted to social media that may have shown an altercation just prior to the shooting.
As is generally the case in early investigations, information released by city officials and law enforcement is preliminary and may change over the course of the investigation in the coming days.
The early morning shooting occurred in the vicinity of the Capitol building, the Golden 1 Center where the Sacramento Kings play and the Sacramento City Hall, which has been designated as the information center for victims’ families.
Despite California’s more stringent gun laws, gun control advocates have called for more action to be taken at the federal level so the state’s laws aren’t potentially debilitated by other states.
Gov. Newsom touted a legislative package earlier this year that would allow for citizens to hold gun manufacturers liable, prevent advertisements of certain weapons from targeting children and further restrict “ghost guns” (privately made firearms that lack serial numbers and are untraceable) in California.
“I’m heartbroken for the victims of yet another senseless mass shooting and their families,” said U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara. “Gun violence has taken far too many lives in our nation. We must pass common-sense reforms like universal background checks and bans on ghost guns to address this epidemic of violence.”
But Sam Paredes, the longtime executive director of the pro-gun Gun Owners of California organization, said policymakers’ focus should be on “crime control” as opposed to gun control.
“As long as you continue to put all of your attention and emphasis on some sort of agenda of gun control, we are going to continue to experience these types of horrific events,” Mr. Paredes told the News-Press. “All of the laws that are proposed on gun control only affect law-abiding citizens; they don’t affect criminals at all. By definition, they’re criminals and don’t obey the law. It was an illegal act to shoot people; it was a criminal act to steal the gun that was used at the shooting; it was a criminal act to do a drive-by. All of those things are crimes, and the laws don’t prevent them from happening.”
“We need sincere politicians who want to sit down and take a look at some really hard issues,” Mr. Paredes continued, pointing to economic growth, access to education and “self-respect” as areas needing more focus.
In Santa Barbara, officials have a plan in place in the event of a mass casualty event, said Megan Riker Rheinschild, who works in the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
The plan involves Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management, behavioral wellness teams, the Red Cross and the FBI, just to name a few, that would provide a coordinated local response to serve victims and next of kin, Ms. Rheinschild told the News-Press.
The preparation involves logistics for a variety of situations across the board, from mental health services to information on how to retrieve a loved one’s belongings to accommodations for out-of-town victims or families.
“It’s important to have a plan in place when something like this happens for law enforcement officials who are coordinating where family members can go to deliver information in a methodical, organized fashion while also bringing mental health professionals to that place to start to prepare people for what they might hear next, like a death notice,” Ms. Rheinschild said.
Santa Barbara County is also prepared to work with neighboring counties, such as Ventura and San Luis Obispo, for additional law enforcement and victim services, Ms. Rheinschild said, pointing to Santa Barbara assisting Ventura County with the mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks in 2018.
Nearly 11,000 people have died as a result of guns this year in the U.S., either by homicide, unintentional shootings or suicide, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.