SACRAMENTO — Authorities released the names Monday of the six people killed here in a shooting early Sunday, and police said they had arrested one person they described as a “related suspect.”
In a statement, Sacramento police said they had recovered more than 100 shell casings from the scene and arrested Dandrae Martin as a “related suspect.” Police officials said Martin, 26, has been charged with assault and illegal possession of a firearm.
Those killed in the shooting — three men and three women — range in age from 21 to 57 years old. The coroner’s office identified the men as Sergio Harris, 38, who lived northeast of downtown Sacramento; Devazia Turner, 29, of Carmichael, a town east of Sacramento; and Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32, of Salinas, an agricultural center several hours by car to the southwest of this city.
The women killed were Johntaya Alexander, 21, of nearby Elk Grove; Melinda Davis, 57, whose address was not disclosed by coroner officials; and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21, of Selma, a couple hours’ drive down the Central Valley from here.
At a community vigil Monday evening in downtown Sacramento, city council member Katie Valenzuela, who represents the district where the shooting occurred, broke down crying as she spoke the names of the victims to a crowd of more than 100.
Not long after, a man who identified himself as Harris’s cousin spoke out from the crowd, and then was invited to speak from the microphones at the front.
“A change has to start,” the man, Jackie Henderson, said. “When the hell are we going to let it start?”
After leaving the microphone, Henderson, 48, told reporters: “He wasn’t a gang member, he wasn’t a dope dealer. He was just a solid individual who was trying to get his life right.”
The mass shooting was the deadliest in Sacramento history; in addition to the six deaths, at least a dozen others were wounded. Police said gunfire began shortly after a fight, which was captured on video, among a group of people on the sidewalk outside the emptying nightclubs.
Hours before the shooting, thousands of people had gathered Saturday night for a concert by Tyler, the Creator, a popular rap artist. The shooting broke out hours after the show, and it is unclear if any of those involved attended.
The crime has drawn condemnations from President Biden (D), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg (D), among others.
“Thoughts and prayers are not nearly enough,” Steinberg said at a news conference Sunday. “We must do more as a city, state and as a nation. This senseless epidemic of gun violence must be addressed.”
Vice President Harris, a former California attorney general, said Monday in a tweet: “Our thoughts are with everyone who lost a loved one in the terrible gun violence this weekend in Sacramento. Enough is enough. Congress must act to end the epidemic of gun violence in America.”
Like the vice president’s statement, the focus among Democrats has centered on the need for more firearms regulation in California, which already has among the most restrictive gun-control rules in the nation.
It remains unclear what weapons were used in the shootings, although police said they recovered a firearm at the scene.
In recent months, a particular focus of law enforcement officials and state lawmakers has been efforts to limit the quantity of stolen or untraceable handguns, including “ghost guns,” although it is unclear if the weapon recovered at the scene falls into either category.
Ghost guns have no serial numbers and can be bought online, in parts, and assembled by the purchaser at home. The process is unregulated and simple enough for minors to complete it.
In late February, a 39-year-old man shot and killed his three daughters in a Sacramento church, along with a 59-year-old man supervising the parental visit, before killing himself. Police officials said David Mora, who had a history of mental illness, used a ghost gun in the act.
Given the high death toll and location just blocks from the state Capitol, the killings are also likely to add to a bitter debate unfolding here as a competitive off-year election begins over crime and sentencing rules in California, which many conservatives and some Democrats have criticized as too lax.
Newsom, who is traveling with his family on spring break outside the country, has called for California to adopt gun regulations that mirror the abortion restrictions passed in Texas and validated by the courts.
The proposal would apply to assault rifles, high-caliber weapons and ghost guns, allowing private lawsuits to proceed against gun manufacturers and sellers accused of not doing enough to control the distribution of their products.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a former Bay Area member of the state Assembly who was appointed by Newsom to the post last year, is pushing the measure, among others related to gun control, in the state legislature.
Bonta faces voters statewide for the first time later this year. In a statement following the shooting, he said: “My office continues our work to get illegal guns off our streets, hold those responsible for gun violence accountable, and push for — and defend in court — common-sense gun laws. This work is urgent. We must act now.”
Among those running against him is Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who has criticized some of the shifts in charging and sentencing policies adopted by district attorneys in some of the state’s largest cities.
Schubert, who is running against Bonta as an independent in a heavily Democratic state, has endorsed a harder line against crime and in prosecutions. She also condemned the large quantity of illegal guns on the city streets after the shooting.
At the Monday night vigil, 61-year-old Michael Caldwell of Elk Grove, Calif., said he’s gone to several similar vigils in the years since his son, Marcellis, was paralyzed from the neck down in a shooting on Memorial Day in 2016. Caldwell said his now 23-year-old son lives with him and requires round-the-clock care.
Asked whether he’s seen change come out of any of them, he said no.
“I go to the community centers, we all show up, and it looks good,” Caldwell said. “Then boom, that’s another shooting.”