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Police seek multiple suspects after shooting killed 6, injured 12 in downtown Sacramento

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4/4/2022 John Bacon and Celina Tebor, USA TODAY
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Authorities are searching for multiple shooters Sunday after a shooting rampage in Sacramento left at least six people dead and fueled a chaotic scene in a downtown area packed with bar crowds.

Police Chief Kathy Lester said officers arriving at the scene around 2 a.m. Sunday found bodies on the street amid a large crowd gathered in an area. Police initially reported "multiple victims" after the attack, not far from the state Capitol, as they waded through the carnage counting casualties.

A large fight took place right before the shootings, Lester said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. She said Sacramento Police have confirmed there were multiple shooters and have located "hundreds of pieces of evidence" at the scene, including a stolen handgun. 

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At least 18 people were shot, officials said, and 12 are being treated at nearby hospitals. Six adults – three men and three women – died from gunshot injuries, Lester said. 

"The scale of violence that just happened in our city is unprecedented in my 27 years here at the Sacramento Police Department," she said. 

Broken glass and police evidence markers were strewn across multiple blocks. Police tweeted that investigators were aware of a social media video "that appears to show an altercation" taking place just prior to the shooting. No arrests were immediately made, and an online portal was opened for the public to upload evidence.

"If anyone saw anything, has video, can provide any information to the police department we are asking for their assistance," Lester said.

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Video posted on Twitter showed people running in the street with the sound of gunfire in the background. Multiple ambulances and other first responders were at the scene. 

Kelsey Schar was staying on the fourth floor of Citizen Hotel when she said she heard gunshots and saw flashes. From the window she “saw a guy running and just shooting.” 

Berry Accius, a community activist, said he arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting.


Video: Six dead, 10 injured in early morning shooting in downtown Sacramento -police (Reuters)

"A lot of victims with blood," Accius told local news ABC10. "Just watching some of the families that didn’t know if their loved one was alive, running, trying to figure out what was happening, people distraught, people discombobulated. It was just horrific." 

Pamela Harris stood outside the cordoned-off area Sunday, awaiting news about her son, Sergio. Sergio Harris had gone to the London nightclub late Saturday, and the family had not heard from him since, she told the Sacramento Bee.

“We just want to know what happened to him,” Pamela Harris said. “Not knowing anything is just hard to face."

Sergio Harris' family later confirmed to KCRA 3 that he was one of the six people killed.

"My son was a very vivacious young man," Pamela Harris told KCRA 3. "Fun to be around, liked to party, smiling all the time. Don't bother people. For this to happen is crazy. I'm just to the point right now, I don’t know what to do. I don’t even feel like this is real. I feel like this is a dream."

Lester it was not known whether the victims were specifically targeted.

City Hall was opened as an information center for families of victims; city staff and police were on the scene. Authorities cordoned off the eight-block area not far from the Golden One Center – where the NBA's Sacramento Kings play – and said the investigation was continuing. Lester, who did not give specifics on the type of gun used, described the crime scene as “very complex and complicated."

Some of the wounded were transported by ambulance to hospitals, others went on their own or were taken by friends, Lester said. No information was provided on their conditions.

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The shooting comes a month after five people were killed when a man opened fire at a Sacramento church and killed his three children, then fatally shot himself, authorities said. A fifth person also died in that shooting.

Sunday's tragedy appears to be the largest mass shooting in the city’s history, the Bee reported. The sixth deaths are the most in the nation this year, along with attacks in Wisconsin in January and Texas in February, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Gun Violence Archive.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, in a series of tweets, called gun violence "the scourge of our city, state and nation." He said Lester, who began the job two weeks ago, has made gun violence a top priority.

"Words can’t express my shock & sadness this morning," Steinberg tweeted. "The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement sending condolences to the victim of "yet another horrendous act of gun violence." He said his office was monitoring reports from the scene.

“What we do know at this point is that another mass casualty shooting has occurred, leaving families with lost loved ones, multiple individuals injured and a community in grief," Newsom said. "The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Police seek multiple suspects after shooting killed 6, injured 12 in downtown Sacramento

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