Sacramento grieves for mass shooting victims as police arrest second suspect

Two women light candles at a vigil.
Elexus Harris, sister of Sergio Harris — one of six people killed in Sacramento’s mass shooting early Sunday — helps light candles at a vigil Monday night.
(Anita Chabria / Los Angeles Times)

The man arrested early Tuesday is the brother of the first suspect arrested in connection with the shooting early Sunday that killed six and wounded 12 more.

As flowers and candles filled the streets of downtown Sacramento a day after a mass shooting took the lives of six people and wounded 12 others, police announced they had arrested a man, but revealed little about who he was or what they suspected about his role in the violence.

Dandre Martin, 26, was booked early Monday on suspicion of assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a gun. Police said detectives and SWAT teams had executed search warrants at three residences but remained tight-lipped about where, what they had yielded, or what other clues investigators had gleaned from reviewing more than 100 videos of the incident and interviewing dozens of witnesses.

Early Tuesday, police announced that they had arrested a second suspect — Martin’s brother. In a statement, police said that Smiley Martin, 27, was among the seriously injured in the mass shooting early Sunday and remained hospitalized under police custody.

He will be booked at Sacramento County Main Jail for “possession of a firearm by a prohibitive person and possession of a machine gun” as soon as his medicare care is completed, police said.

Police said they had recovered more than 100 shell casings from the street and buildings — the remnants of a barrage of bullets that rained down outside a busy strip of nightclubs just blocks from the state Capitol, in the nation’s worst mass shooting this year.

In an unusual statement Monday, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert clarified that her office expected “more arrests in this case” and emphasized that Martin had “not been arrested for any homicide related to this incident.” Schubert noted that the investigation is “highly complex, involving many witnesses, videos of numerous types and significant physical evidence.”

On the streets near the crime, residents and workers, some looking shocked and grief-stricken, stepped over shards of broken glass and passed boarded-up windows, while family members of the victims — whose names were released by the Sacramento County coroner Monday — grappled with their heartbreak.

The youngest victims were two women, Johntaya Alexander and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, both 21. The oldest, Melinda Davis, 57, was an unsheltered woman who was well known along K Street, where she often slept. Those who knew her described her as “very friendly” and someone who liked to mingle with the patrons of the bars when they came out at closing time.

The three men who were killed — Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; Devazia Turner, 29; and Sergio Harris, 38 — were all described as loving fathers.

Sacramento city leaders and elected officials gathered in a downtown plaza Monday night for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims.
It was lightly attended, but down the street, at the site of the shooting, an informal gathering of family members took over the corner, where the children of Sergio Harris helped light dozens of candles in small paper cups and tall pillars emblazoned with the images of saints.

Fred Harris, Sergio’s father, stood at the side of the makeshift altar and said he doubted he would join the official gathering down the street.

“That’s a meeting for the people who think they know him,” Harris said. “I will be here every day.”

Authorities said seven of the 12 victims hospitalized had been released by Monday, while five were still being treated for gunshot wounds.

For friends and family members of those killed, the sadness and horror were just settling in.

John Alexander, the father of Johntaya Alexander, said he could not stop replaying the image of his daughter’s body lying lifeless on the street.

He always sleeps with his phone near his bed in case one of his daughters calls. So when his phone rang just after 2 a.m. Sunday, he answered almost immediately and heard panic in his daughter Johntezha’s voice. She told him she was cradling her younger sister, Johntaya, 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, 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.”

Johntaya, he said, 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.”

A friend of Martinez-Andrade lamented that her friend also seemed to have her whole life ahead of her.

“A lot of people were hurt by this, because she was just always smiling and she got along with everybody,” said 23-year-old Katelynn Sanchez, who knew Martinez-Andrade from Selma, a farm town near Fresno. “A lot of people would really notice her vibe when we would go out. She was just one of those people you meet and you just instantly like.”

Sanchez said Martinez-Andrade and another friend had gone to Sacramento on Saturday night to see Tyler, the Creator and Kali Uchis. Sanchez had stayed home because it was her daughter’s birthday.

Martinez-Andrade, who worked for her brother’s landscaping company, was “about her family” and “really caring,” Sanchez said. “She loved her mom a lot. She was a really good daughter to her.”

“She was so young,” Sanchez added.

Friends and family of the three men killed talked about what a loss it was for their children.

“His kids meant everything to him,” said a friend of Hoye-Lucchesi. The friend, who asked not to be named, said the 32-year-old was “active in their lives, a really good dad.” He was also a caring and dependable friend, she added, always there in a crisis.

Detectives in Sacramento work the scene of a mass shooting.
(Via Los Angeles Times)

On Sunday, a man named Frank Turner was photographed in downtown Sacramento being turned away by police while looking for his missing son. On Monday, the Sacramento County coroner confirmed what the Turner family had already heard — Devazia Turner was one of those shot dead.

Devazia Turner’s wife and sister described the 29-year-old, a father of four, in similar terms: a happy person who was full of energy and with a talent for making others smile.

“Everybody loved him,” said Syerra Mathis, his wife.

He “just wanted to love on you,” added his sister. “He was just a good person. He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t.”

Mathis said she talked to Turner an hour before the shooting, checking in to see when he would be coming home. The two never slept apart, she said.

“He said to go to sleep and wait for him,” Mathis said, breaking down in tears. She later got a call from someone who was with him at the time, breaking the news.

Fred Harris Jr., 41, described his younger brother, Sergio, as a “pretty good guy, well rounded and well liked,” and said that along with his two girls and son, he also loved his car, shoes and drinking champagne.

“Everybody’s going to remember Sergio,” he said. “He was just a good guy, well liked in the community. He did everything for everybody.”

Sacramento police emphasized that their investigation is ongoing. Officials refused to 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.

Court documents show that the man they arrested — whose name is also listed as Dandrae Martin in some public documents — has an extensive criminal 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.

As police continued to process evidence and workers tried to get back to business, a block away state employees went to work in the Capitol.

The Assembly adjourned its session Monday in memory of the victims. And in Washington, President Biden pointed to the incident as an example of the need for more action on gun control.

“We know these lives were not the only lives impacted by gun violence last night,” the president said in a statement. “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.”

Garrison reported from Sacramento and Winton, Mejia and Gerber from Los Angeles. Times staff writers Anita Chabria in Sacramento and Erika D. Smith in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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