SACRAMENTA, CA (AP)
Ordinary crowds filled the streets as bars and nightclubs closed in the California capital, Sacramento, when people fled in terror at the sound of rapid-fire shots. In a matter of seconds, six people were killed and 12 were injured in the latest mass shooting in the United States.
Sacramento police said they were looking for at least two people who opened fire at about 2 a.m. Sunday on the outskirts of the city’s entertainment district, anchored at the Golden One Arena where concerts are held, and the Sacramento Kings NBA. The team’s home game against the Golden State Warriors was scheduled for Sunday night and began with a minute of silence for the victims.
Police Chief Katie Lester revealed several details of the investigation and asked the public to share videos and other evidence that could lead to the killers.
“The scale of the violence that has just taken place in our city is unprecedented in the 27 years we have been here,” Leicester told reporters at a news conference at police headquarters. “We are shocked and shattered by this tragedy. But we are also determined as an agency to find the culprits and provide justice for the victims and families. ”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other city officials condemned the escalation of violence in the city, and urged people to continue to come downtown for events such as NBA games and the Broadway musical “Evil.”
“We can never accept this as normal and never will,” Steinberg said of the shooting. “But we also have to live our lives.”
The shootout began immediately after the fight broke out in the street with an elite hotel, nightclubs and bars, but police said they did not know whether the quarrel was related to the shooting. A video of witnesses posted on social media shows a rapid shooting for at least 45 seconds as people shouted and ran into cover.
The shooting frightened sleeping citizens of the Citizen Hotel, among whom were a wedding and fans of rapper Tyler, Creator, who had performed at the concert hours earlier.
From her window on the fourth floor of the hotel, 18-year-old Kelsey Shar said she saw a man running away, firing a gun. She saw gunfire in the dark as people fled into cover.
Shara’s friend, Medallin Woodward, said she saw a girl lying on the ground who appeared to have been shot. Guards from a nearby nightclub rushed to help the girl with wipes to stop the bleeding.
Police found the stolen gun, but they did not know if it was used in the shooting. Among the dead were three men and three women. Authorities continued to work to notify family members and publicly identified only one victim Sunday late, 38-year-old Sergio Harris, without giving a cause of death. According to the Sacramento Fire Department, of the 12 injured, at least four were seriously injured.
According to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, Sunday was the third time this year in the U.S. that at least six people have been killed in mass shootings. And this was the second mass shooting in Sacramento in the last five weeks.
In a Sunday statement, President Joe Biden called for action against gun crimes.
“Today, America is mourning another community devastated by gun violence,” Biden said. “But we must do more than mourn; we must act. “
On February 28, a father killed his three daughters, a companion and himself in the Church of Sacramento during a weekly supervised visit. David More, 39, was armed with a homemade semi-automatic rifle-style weapon, although he was under a travel ban that barred him from owning a firearm.
The crime scene on Sunday spread over two city quarters, enclosing most of the city center. The bodies remained on the sidewalk all day when Leicester said investigators were working to process a “really complicated and complex scene” to make sure investigators gathered all the evidence they could to “see the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice.” ».
Council member Katie Valenzuela, representing the area, said that in her 15 months in office, she had made too many phone calls reporting violence in her district. She cried at a news conference when she told reporters that the last phone call woke her up at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
“I have a broken heart and I’m outraged,” she said. “Our community deserves better than that.”
Associated Press authors David Clapper of Providence, Rhode Island, and Stephanie Dazio of Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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