SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A second suspect arrested Tuesday in connection with the mass shooting that killed six people in Sacramento 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, 27, who is the brother of the first suspect taken into custody, was arrested while hospitalized with serious injuries from the gunfire in California’s capital.
Authorities are trying to determine whether the weapon seen in the video was used in the shooting, said the official, who was briefed on the investigation but could not discuss details publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
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. Authorities have searched several locations in connection with the shooting and the firearms investigation.
More than 100 shots were fired early Sunday near the state Capitol, creating a chaotic scene with hundreds of people trying desperately to get to safety. Martin was among the 12 people injured.
Police on Monday announced the arrest of his brother, Dandrae Martin, 26, as a “related suspect” on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun. His first court appearance was set for Tuesday.
Smiley Martin will be booked for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun when his condition improves enough for him to be jailed, a police statement said. A handgun found at the stolen crime scene had been converted to a weapon capable of automatic gunfire.
Smiley Martin was found at the crime scene and taken to a hospital, police said.
“Smiley Martin was quickly identified as a person of interest and has remained under the supervision of an officer at the hospital while his treatment continues,” the statement said.
Detectives and SWAT team members also found a handgun during searches of three area homes.
The shooting happened at about 2 am Sunday as bars were closing and patrons filled the streets. The three women and three men killed included a father of four, a young woman who wanted to be a social worker, a man described as the life of the party, and a woman who lived on the streets nearby and was looking for housing.
The Sacramento County coroner identified the women killed as Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21. The three men were Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg read their names during a vigil Monday evening attended by grieving relatives, friends and community members.
“We gather here to remember the victims and to commit ourselves to doing all we can to ending the stain of violence, not only in our community but throughout the state, throughout the country, and throughout the world,” Steinberg said.
Turner, who had three daughters and a son, was a “protector” who worked as the night manager at an inventory company, his mother, Penelope Scott, told The Associated Press. He rarely went out, and she had no reason to believe he would be in harm’s way when he left his house after he visited Saturday night.
“My son was walking down the street and somebody started shooting, and he got shot. Why is that to happen?” Scott said. “I feel like I’ve got a hole in my heart.”
Police were investigating whether the shooting was connected with a street fight that broke out just before gunfire erupted. Several people could be seen in videos scrapping on a street lined with an upscale hotel, nightclubs and bars when gunshots sent people scattering.
Detectives also were trying to determine if a stolen handgun found at the crime scene was connected to the shooting, Police Chief Kathy Lester said. Witnesses answered her plea for help by providing more than 100 videos and photos of evidence.
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert noted that Dandrae Martin was not arrested on suspicion of homicide, but suggested investigators were making progress.
“The investigation is highly complex involving many witnesses, videos of numerous types and significant physical evidence,” Schubert said in a statement. “This is an ongoing investigation and we anticipate more arrests in this case.”
Dandrae Martin, who was held without bail, was freed from an Arizona prison in 2020 after serving just over 1 1/2 years for violating probation in separate cases involving a felony conviction for aggravated assault in 2016 and a conviction on a marijuana charge in 2018 Court records show he pleaded guilty to punching, kicking and choking a woman in a hotel room when she refused to work for him as a prostitute.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether the Martins had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.
Four of those wounded suffered critical injuries, the Sacramento Fire Department has said. At least seven of the victims had been released from hospitals by Monday and two patients were still hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center on Tuesday, according to spokesperson Tricia Tomiyoshi. She did not disclose their conditions.
At the scene where the chaos erupted, memorials with candles and flowers grew on the same sidewalks where video showed people screaming and running for shelter as others lay on the ground writhing in pain.
A small bouquet of purple roses was dedicated to Melinda Davis, who lived on the streets for years, with a note saying “Melinda Rest In Peace.”
Politicians decried the shooting, and some Democrats, including President Joe Biden, called for tougher action against gun violence.
California has some of the nation’s toughest restrictions on firearms, requiring background checks to buy guns and ammunition, limiting magazines to 10 bullets, and banning firearms that fall into its definition of assault weapons.
But state lawmakers plan to go further. A bill getting its first hearing Tuesday would allow citizens to sue those who possess illegal weapons, a measure patterned after a controversial Texas bill aimed at abortions.
Other proposed California legislation this year would make it easier for people to sue gun companies and target unregistered “ghost guns,” firearms made from build-it-yourself kits.
The California Assembly held a moment of silence Monday in honor of the victims. Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, a Democrat who represents Sacramento, noted lawmakers could see the crime scene from the building’s balcony.
“Tragic is too small of a word to describe what occurred just two nights ago as a devastating loss for our city,” McCarty said.
Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio, Brian Melley and Christopher Weber in Los Angeles, Don Thompson in Sacramento, Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and News Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York City contributed to this story.