At least five shooters fired guns during a gang-related gunbattle in downtown Sacramento Sunday that killed six people and injured 12 others, police said on Wednesday.
“As detectives learn more about the shootings, it is increasingly clear that gang violence is at the center of this tragedy,” Sacramento police said in a release. “While we cannot at this time elaborate on the precise gang affiliation of individuals involved, gangs and gang violence are inseparable from the events that drove these shootings.”
There were two groups involved in an exchange of gunfire, Sacramento Police Department spokesman Sgt. Zach Eaton said.
“The identities of the shooters are still being worked through but based off of witness information, written information, as well as are the numerous videos that we have received, we believe at this point there are five shooters,” he said.
Eaton said that nearly 200 videos have been submitted through the QR code that the police department has created.
“This tragedy downtown is a very public example of what families in many of our neighborhoods know too well,” Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said in a statement. “The suffering inflicted by gang violence does not limit itself to gang members. It spills over to claim and shatter innocent lives and harm our entire community.”
Two brothers have been arrested so far in connection with the shooting.
The first suspect arrested was 26-year-old Dandrae Martin, who was taken into custody on Monday. Dandrae Martin is being held in the Sacramento County Jail without bail and made a brief initial court appearance on Tuesday. He was arrested on assault with a firearm and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm charges, but the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office only read the firearm charge at Dandrae’s court appearance. Even though the district attorney only presented the one charge, police said Dandrae was arrested for the shooting, believing he fired a gun during the shooting.
The second suspect was identified as 27-year-old Smiley Martin, who was taken into custody Tuesday on charges that include possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun. He had posted a live Facebook video of himself brandishing a handgun hours before gunfire erupted, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
Smiley Martin sustained serious injuries from the shooting and is currently in a nearby hospital for treatment. He will be booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail once he is released from the hospital.
Investigators believe the brothers possessed stolen guns and are working to review financial documents, call records and social media messages to determine how and when they procured weapons, the official said.