SACRAMENTA, CA (AP)

Sacramento police said Wednesday that a massacre that killed six people and injured 12 at bars a few blocks from the California Capitol last weekend was a shootout involving at least five gunmen from rival factions.

Police said they had identified at least five gunmen, but there may have been more. Only two suspects – both brothers wounded in the shelling – have been arrested in connection with the shooting, and so far they have only been charged with firearms.

“We’re still figuring out … who the shooters really are,” the sergeant said. Said Zack Ethan.

Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, police were silent about what led to the shooting, which erupted early Sunday when the bars were released. Quick queues of more than 100 shots echoed through the streets as frightened visitors rushed to save their lives and others were hit by bullets.

Authorities admitted witnesses who contributed about 200 videos, photos and other advice to help the investigation.

Police declined to name the participants or the affiliation of the suspects.

One of the brothers in custody was released from prison about two months ago, and last year he was denied an earlier release after prosecutors said he “understands little care about human life,” documents show.

Smiley Martin, 27, who was released on parole in February, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of possessing a banned firearm and machine gun. Hours before Sunday’s attack, Martin posted on Facebook a video in which he brandished a gun, a law enforcement spokesman told the Associated Press.

Police were trying to determine whether a stolen gun found at the crime scene was used in the massacre. It has been converted into a weapon capable of conducting automatic fire.

Detectives also tried to determine whether the gun Martin waved on the video was used, according to an official who was informed of the investigation but not authorized to publicly discuss the details and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Martin and his brother were among the wounded when a shooting unfolded around 2 a.m. Sunday in the state Capitol neighborhood, when bars closed and streets were filled with visitors.

Earlier, investigators said they were trying to determine whether a street fight near a nightclub could have caused the shooting.

The Sacramento County Coroner identified the three murdered women as 21-year-old Jonta Alexander; Melinda Davis, 57; and Jamil Martinez-Andrade, 21. The three killed were 38-year-old Sergio Harris; Joshua Hoye-Lucezi, 32; and Devasia Turner, 29.

In addition to the Martin brothers, ten people were injured and at least two remained in hospital with gunshot wounds.

Smiley Martin has been arrested at a hospital and will be issued if his condition improves enough to put him in jail, police said.

His brother, 26-year-old Dandrae Martin, was arrested Monday as a “bound suspect” and briefly appeared in the Sacramento High Court on Tuesday on charges that he was convicted with a loaded pistol.

Investigators believe both brothers stole the weapon and are trying to find out how they found it, a law enforcement spokesman told the AP.

The 31-year-old man, who was seen with a handgun immediately after the shooting, was arrested on Tuesday on weapons charges. Police said they did not believe his gun was used in the shooting.

Smiley Martin has a criminal history dating back to 2013. He was released on parole from the state prison in February after serving about half of his 10-year sentence for hitting his girlfriend, pulling her out of the house by her hair and beating her with a belt, prosecutors said.

Martin could have been released earlier, but the Parole Board rejected his application for early release in May after prosecutors said the 2017 attack along with convictions for possession of assault weapons and theft pose a “significant, unwarranted security risk society ”.

Martin “obviously has little respect for human life and the law” and has demonstrated a pattern of criminal behavior since the age of 18, the Sacramento County Attorney’s Deputy District Attorney wrote last year in a letter to the Parole Board.

It was unclear whether Smiley Martin had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Dandra Martin, who was detained without bail, was released from an Arizona jail in 2020 after serving just over 18 months for violating probation in some cases involving marijuana possession and aggravated assault.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told reporters Wednesday that he has “serious questions” about why the brothers “took to the streets.”

“And these questions need to be answered, and they will be answered in the coming days,” Steinberg said.

Lawyer Linda Parisi said that any attempts to secure the release of Dandra Martin on bail would depend on whether the prosecution brought harsher charges.

“If it turns out that the evidence shows that it was a simple presence at the scene, it is definitely more justified for the release,” said Paris. “If it shows more aggressive behavior, then it will oppose it. But we don’t know that yet. “

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