Man arrested on assault, firearms possession charges in Sacramento mass shooting
Authorities announced the arrest of a man with an extensive police record in connection with the mass shooting that killed six and wounded 12.
As Sacramento mourned the worst mass shooting in the United States this year with sidewalk shrines near the Capitol, authorities on Monday arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting.
The suspect, Dandre Martin, 26, was booked on assault and possession of an illegal firearm charges, authorities said, adding that they’ve executed several search warrants and recovered a handgun.
Yet beyond announcing Martin’s arrest, Sacramento city officials didn’t answer repeated questions about whether other armed assailants responsible for the shooting remain at large, despite the police chief having described the deadly incident as involving multiple shooters.
In an unusual statement Monday afternoon, Sacramento Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert said she anticipated more arrests in the case, adding that the one person apprehended thus far — Martin — “has not been arrested for any homicide related to this incident.”
“The investigation is highly complex, involving many witnesses, videos of numerous types and significant physical evidence,” Schubert added.
Authorities on Monday also identified the six people who were killed early Sunday in a barrage of gunfire outside a stretch of popular downtown nightclubs.
The youngest victims, Johntaya Alexander and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, were both 21. The oldest victim, Melinda Davis, was 57, according to the Sacramento County coroner. Also identified were Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; Devazia Turner, 29; and Sergio Harris, 38.
“We are shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy,” Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said during a Sunday news conference at police headquarters. “But we are also resolved as an agency to find those responsible and to secure justice for the victims and the families.”
Court documents show that Martin — also listed as Dandrae Martin in some public documents — has an extensive arrest record.
In 2014, records show, he was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence upon a spouse or partner in Riverside County and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Two years later, he was convicted of attempting to commit aggravated assault in Maricopa County and served a stint in an Arizona prison.
Two years after that, he was convicted of criminal damage, but another charge — assault causing fear of physical injury — was dismissed.
Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, a car drove up 10th Street firing bullets into a crowd and then at least one other person fired a gun, although it is not yet clear whether that person was in the car or in the crowd firing back at the shooter’s car. Rapid gunfire heard on videos posted online suggest a semiautomatic weapon may have been used, but a police spokesman, citing the ongoing investigation, did not offer information on the weapon used.
Lester said officers on the beat in the downtown core responded on foot and immediately saw a horrific scene: Bullets pocked the street and 18 people were dead, dying or wounded. Officers immediately began to perform CPR and recordings of police and fire radio traffic provided a window into the horror on the scene.
“Go ahead and start me five more ambulances,” one dispatcher said.
As they began to piece together what happened, police learned that a large group of people had been fighting in the street moments before the shots rang out, but officers said they did not yet know whether that melee was related to the shooting. They are reviewing videos, from the public and from fixed cameras, to try to piece it all together.
The shooting this weekend took place on and near the city’s K Street mall, within view of the grand white dome of the state Capitol, where in recent years lawmakers have enacted the nation’s toughest gun control laws but remain confounded by how to stem mass shootings. Already this year, Sacramento has been shaken by two of the four worst spasms of gun violence in the nation, including an incident in February when a man killed his three children, a man supervising their family visit, and himself.
Authorities remained at the crime scene until early Monday, where hundreds of evidence markers were laid out on the pavement, including vestiges of at least 75 shots fired.
The yellow police tape sealing off the K Street mall added more pain to a Sacramento district that was struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic, but more so now, with fewer lobbyists buying lunches and drinks at bars and restaurants. Crowds show up on weekends and evenings when the Golden 1 Center hosts the Sacramento Kings and concerts, including one on Saturday night featuring Tyler, the Creator.
On Monday, as Sacramento city officials prepared for a vigil for the victims at 7:30 p.m. at Ali Youssefi Square in downtown, relatives and friends of the victims were still processing the devastating weekend.
John Alexander, the father of one of the youngest victims, Johntaya, was awakened by a phone call just after 2 a.m. Sunday.
It was his daughter Johntezha and he could hear terror in her voice, as she explained that she was cradling her younger sister in her arms.
“Daddy,” she said, “Taya’s been shot.”
“You’re lying,” he said in disbelief.
He jumped out of bed, threw on clothes and drove toward the entertainment district. When Alexander arrived at the scene, he saw someone trying to resuscitate a man who had crumpled to the ground.
Then, his eyes shifted toward his little girl. His beautiful, strong-willed daughter, whose name was a combination of his own and his older sister’s, whose energy she shared. His daughter, who adored her nieces and nephews and dreamed of one day becoming a social worker so she could work with children.
“She was already gone,” Alexander said, softly. “Lifeless.”
Since then, he said, that image has been replaying in his mind on repeat. He’s trying to focus, instead, on joyful memories — on holidays and birthdays past.
Johntaya would have turned 22 on the last day of the month.
“She was just beginning her life,” he said, sobbing. “Stop all this senseless shooting.
For Katelynn Sanchez, a friend of Martinez-Andrade, the other 21-year-old killed in the shooting, it was hard to believe that her vivacious friend — the one she’d met when they were both teenagers growing up in a small Fresno County city called Selma — was now gone.
Sanchez thought about her friend’s perpetual smile, about the memories they’d made together while attending raves through the years.
“A lot of people would really notice her vibe when we would go out,” she said. “She was just one of those people you meet and you just instantly like.”
Sanchez thought about her friend’s final hours, how she’d been doing one of her favorite things — listening to music — as she watched Tyler, The Creator and Kali Uchis perform.
Martinez-Andrade cared deeply about her family, Sanchez said, noting that her friend worked for her brother’s landscaping company and often spoke about how much she loved her mother.
“She was a really good daughter.”
Davis, the oldest victim, was unhoused and sometimes got assistance at the Maryhouse shelter at Loaves & Fishes, a Sacramento nonprofit that provides warm meals and supplies to people in need.
“This was a space she came to find respite from the trauma of living on the streets of our city,” according to a statement from the nonprofit. “Together we mourn the loss of her life along with five others and hold on to hope that those injured recover quickly.”
The friend of another victim, Hoye-Lucchesi, described him as a dependable and caring friend — the type of person who is always there during a crisis. But more than anything, he was a proud father of four, according to the friend, who asked not to be identified.
“His kids meant everything to him,” she said. “He was active in their lives, a really good dad.”
Fred Harris Jr., 41, described his younger brother, Sergio — a 38-year-old father of three — as “well rounded and well liked.”
“Everybody pretty much knew him and loved him for being who he was,” he said. “Everybody who knew Serg just knew he was all about a good time.”
He said Sergio loved his cars, shoes and drinking Champagne.
Another victim, DeVazia Turner, was Sergio Harris’ cousin, according to family.
Turner’s wife, Syerra Mathis, described her husband — a father of four — as a happy person who was full of energy. She recalled his positivity and his talent for making others smile.
“Everybody loved him,” she said.
Turner’s sister, Patricia Powell, said he had a big heart and a goofy streak — a trait they shared.
“He was just a good person, he didn’t deserve this,” she said.
Advocates for gun control, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, pointed to the incident as yet another example of why reforms are needed to reduce gun violence.
“Sadly, we once again mourn the lives lost and for those injured in yet another horrendous act of gun violence,” Newsom, who is on vacation in South America and Central America, said in a statement. “The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”
Sacramento City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela said the shooting happened in a part of the city that is typically crowded on weekends.
“This is a national epidemic. We see the numbers, we know that this isn’t just affecting the city of Sacramento, but it is heartbreaking and completely overwhelming that this keeps happening on our streets,” she said.
On Sunday morning, the downtown area was calm — and thronged with runners who participated in the annual Sactown Run. Even at the Capitol — only a few blocks from where the shooting occurred — many people seemed unaware of what happened. Joggers with numbers posted to their running shirts threaded past family members mourning their loved ones outside a Starbucks near the crime scene.
Jedrick Andrés, 28, said he and his friend heard about the shooting as they were driving in Sunday morning to participate in the Sactown Run.
“I was kind of shocked,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Late morning on Sunday, one block from where the shooting erupted, parishioners at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament kneeled during Mass and joined the pastor’s prayer for the dead and wounded.
“We pray for their families and friends, mourning the loss, concerned over healing and finding it difficult to understand,” the Rev. Michael O’Reilly said to parishioners. “We pray for our city.”
Though the shooting was California’s single deadliest in 2022, there have been worse in the last year, including one in May at a San Jose transit yard where a disgruntled worker shot and killed nine people before killing himself.
Speaking at an afternoon news conference, Steinberg, the mayor, added: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. That’s too easy, and it will be too easy to mourn for a week and then move on. We can’t do that.”
On Monday, President Biden issued a statement praising first responders and demanding more action on guns.
“I want to thank the first responders in Sacramento, and all those across the United States, who act every day to save lives,” the president said. “We know these lives were not the only lives impacted by gun violence last night. And we equally mourn for those victims and families who do not make national headlines.
“But we must do more than mourn; we must act. That is why my administration has taken historic executive action to implement my comprehensive gun crime reduction strategy — from standing up gun trafficking strike forces to helping cities across the country expand community violence interventions and hire more police officers for community policing,” he wrote.
“We also continue to call on Congress to act. Ban ghost guns. Require background checks for all gun sales. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.”
Garrison and Chabria reported from Sacramento and Gerber, Winton and Mejia from Los Angeles. Times staff writers Hannah Wiley in Sacramento and Erika D. Smith, Jack Dolan, , Hannah Fry and Ian James in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.