When police first arrived at the scene of the shooting in the heart of downtown Sacramento around 2 a.m. Sunday, they discovered bodies lying on the street.
At first, it would be a mass shooting that left six dead and 12 injured.
But in recent days, more details have emerged that paint a different picture of the violence.
Here’s what we know:
What triggered the shooting?
The authorities still do not have a firm motivation.
But it is now clear that the shooting was the result of a dispute between groups of people that turned into a shootout in a crowded street filled with customers leaving as bars closed.
Police initially said the crime involved a man shooting from a car as it drove up 10th Street as patrons left downtown nightclubs around 2 a.m.
But according to Officer Chad Lewis, detectives are ‘able to say with confidence’ – based on a preliminary review of the evidence – that at least five people pulled out guns and began shooting at them that night , gunshots hitting innocent victims.
Police are expected to share more information about the crime in the coming days as they continue to sift through evidence in a complex investigation. It’s the one that includes interviews with dozens of witnesses, more than 200 videos and social media posts, the ballistics of more than 100 shell casings that littered the sidewalk, and footage from police cameras.
Who was arrested?
Three people were arrested and police said they planned to make further arrests in the coming days.
But no one has been charged with murder.
Only one suspected shooter, a 26-year-old man arrested on Monday, has been identified by police. Dandrae Martin appeared in court on Tuesday. He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Dandrae Martin’s brother, Smiley Martin III, 27, will be jailed at Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of ‘prohibitive person possession of a firearm and possession of a machine gun’ upon his release from prison. ‘hospital. Smiley Martin, who has a long rap sheet and is affiliated with the Crips gang, according to his social media posts, was shot during the barrage.
A third man, Daviyonne Dawson, 31, was arrested after he was seen carrying a gun following the shooting, but did not fire. Dawson is not charged with participating in the melee, but will face charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was released on bail.
What do we know about the preparation for the shoot?
Sacramento police also confirmed Wednesday that officers received a call involving the Martin brothers on Saturday night, just hours before the shooting.
In a video that has since been posted on social media, the Martin brothers appear standing in a parking lot brandishing firearms. A Sacramento police car can be seen driving past in the video.
Lewis said police received a call shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday about a disturbance at the address involving a group of people who were potentially about to start a fight.
But before officers could respond, they received a call about two at-risk children in the area who were separated from the Martins. Concerns about children took precedence as eight officers were redirected to ensure they were safe.
By the time officers returned to check on the Martins a little after 10 p.m., the two brothers were gone.
Around four hours later, a flurry of gunfire erupted in the downtown K Street mall.
What do the videos of the shoot show?
One shows a large group of people fighting in the street, followed by rapid gunfire. another catch several volleys of gunfire, including what looks like a possible automatic weapon, before people on the street run for their lives.
A graphic YouTube video that was uploaded on Monday apparently showed the aftermath of the shooting. Officers attempted to treat people lying in the street as friends and others gathered.
“Please tell me what to do,” one woman pleaded to an officer as she knelt over a body. “I will help you.”
“Help me turn her over,” the officer replied. He later said they needed firefighters to respond.
The person narrating the video said they heard “like 70 knocks, 80 knocks”. In the street, people were shouting at each other and asking for help.
The video showed at least five people on the ground.
“Breathe, mate,” one person said. “Keep breathing.”
Nearby, a CHP officer checked a woman’s pulse. She was completely still.
A little further, an officer asked someone to look elsewhere where a victim could have been hit.
“There are deaths everywhere,” said the man who recorded the video.
What do we know about gang involvement?
Police did not name the gangs or what the motive for the deadly roadblock might have been.
Law enforcement sources said police were looking for links between some of those allegedly involved in the shooting and the Crips gang.
“This downtown tragedy is a very public example of what families in many of our neighborhoods know all too well,” Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said in a statement Wednesday. “The suffering inflicted by gang violence is not limited to gang members. It overflows to claim and destroy innocent lives and harm our entire community. »
What do we know about the weapons used?
Police say at least one of the guns was recovered from the massacre that left six people dead and twice as many injured and was modified with a so-called “auto-sear” or “switch” to increase its firing power. fire. Conversion devices are illegal, and authorities say they are showing up at crime scenes across the United States with alarming frequency.
Amid the carnage along K Street in the shadow of the California Capitol, Sacramento police detectives found a stolen gun that had been “converted to a weapon capable of firing automatically.” The discovery confirmed suspicions authorities had developed after hearing audio recordings of the shooting on social media that revealed the distinct sound of high-velocity bullets being fired. Authorities estimate that at least 100 shots were fired.
Handguns fitted with switches have surfaced at other crime scenes in California. Gunmen used them in the fatal shooting of federal guards in Oakland in 2020, as did gang members in the killing of four people in Fresno the year before.