Sacramento shooting suspect is seen on video with automatic weapon, officials say
Sacramento police announced Tuesday they have arrested a second suspect in connection with Sunday’s eruption of gunfire that killed six people and injured 12, and investigators have also obtained an online post in which the suspect wields a stolen gun — a fully automatic weapon — found at the scene.
Early Tuesday, police announced they had arrested the brother of the suspect they had apprehended Monday.
Smiley Martin, 27, brother of Dandrae Martin, was among the seriously injured in the shooting outside a pair of crowded nightclubs early Sunday. He is under police custody in a local hospital.
Smiley Martin will be booked at Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of “possession of a firearm by a prohibitive person and possession of a machine gun” as soon as his medical care is completed, police said. Police said he had been a person of interest even before being taken into custody.
A day earlier, police booked Dandrae Martin, 26, on suspicion of assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a gun. Police said detectives and SWAT teams had executed search warrants at three residences but remained tight-lipped about what their searches had yielded.
Police said they had recovered more than 100 shell casings from the street and buildings — the remnants of a barrage of bullets that rained down on streets near the state Capitol.
A stolen firearm found at the scene was converted to be a fully automatic weapon, police said Tuesday. Recordings on social media of the incident caught the sound of both semiautomatic and automatic gunfire as people fled the shots.
Investigators have obtained a social media post made on Saturday by Smiley Martin in which he wields the stolen gun that has been determined to be a fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement sources. That post has since been removed.
Also on Tuesday, Sacramento police said they arrested a man who was seen carrying a gun in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. After detectives recovered a handgun, they arrested 31-year-old Daviyonne Dawson late Monday on charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, but he is not considered a suspect in the shooting.
Police said that, at this time, Dawson is not charged with crimes directly related to Sunday’s gunfire, since it does not appear his gun was used. Dawson has since been released on bail, records show.
On the streets near the crime on Monday, residents and workers, some looking shocked and grief-stricken, stepped over shards of broken glass and passed boarded-up windows, while family members of the victims — whose names were released by the Sacramento County coroner Monday — grappled with their heartbreak.
The stolen gun used in the Sacramento mass shooting was converted into a fully automatic weapon for maximum firepower, police say.
The youngest victims were two women, Johntaya Alexander and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, both 21. The oldest, Melinda Davis, 57, was an unsheltered woman who was well-known along K Street, where she often slept. Those who knew her described her as “very friendly” and someone who liked to mingle with the patrons of the bars when they came out at closing time.
The three men who were killed — Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; Devazia Turner, 29; and Sergio Harris, 38 — were all described as loving fathers.
In Sacramento, a swirl of social media posts have focused on the victims and the suspects, including one from Dandrae Martin himself. On Facebook, he posted a status shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday that read: “Smh I’m hit…” In the comments, friends asked the status of his brother Smiley and said they were praying for him.
The adjustment to the gun allowed for maximum firepower. Six people were killed and 12 wounded in the Sunday shooting.
Smiley’s Facebook page included posts that read “Merry cripmas” and another from 2019 that said “cripn in da after life.” He uploaded photos in 2020 wearing CDCR Prisoner pants, appearing to be posting from prison. There were also Facebook Live videos of him wearing the prisoner pants.
Based on social media accounts, one of the victims, Hoye-Lucchesi, appeared to be friends with at least one of the Martins, posting a photo with Smiley just last month.
Hours before the shooting, Hoye-Lucchesi uploaded videos on his Instagram story showing him and others brandishing weapons, including a gun with a red laser.
On Monday night, Sacramento city leaders and elected officials gathered in a downtown plaza for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims.
It was lightly attended, but down the street, at the site of the shooting, an informal gathering of family members took over the corner, where the children of Sergio Harris helped light dozens of candles in small paper cups and tall pillars emblazoned with the images of saints.
Fred Harris, Sergio’s father, stood at the side of the makeshift altar and said he doubted he would join the official gathering down the street.
“That’s a meeting for the people who think they know him,” Harris said. “I will be here every day.”
Authorities said seven of the 12 victims hospitalized had been released by Monday, while five were still being treated for gunshot wounds.
For friends and family members of those killed, the sadness and horror were just settling in.
John Alexander, the father of Johntaya Alexander, said he could not stop replaying the image of his daughter’s body lying lifeless on the street.
He always sleeps with his phone near his bed in case one of his daughters calls. So when his phone rang just after 2 a.m. Sunday, he answered almost immediately and heard panic in his daughter Johntezha’s voice. She told him she was cradling her younger sister, Johntaya, in her arms.
“Daddy,” she said, “Taya’s been shot.”
“You’re lying,” he said in disbelief.
He jumped out of bed, threw on clothes and drove toward the entertainment district. When Alexander arrived, he saw someone trying to resuscitate a man who had crumpled to the ground.
Then his eyes shifted toward his little girl. His beautiful, strong-willed daughter, whose name was a combination of his own and his older sister’s, whose energy she shared. His daughter, who adored her nieces and nephews and dreamed of one day becoming a social worker so she could work with children.
“She was already gone,” Alexander said softly. “Lifeless.”
Johntaya, he said, would have turned 22 on the last day of the month.
“She was just beginning her life,” he said, sobbing. “Stop all this senseless shooting.”
A D.A. issued dire warnings about the Sacramento gun battle suspect. He was released early from prison anyway
Smiley Martin was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Because of prison time credits, he was released early this year.
A friend of Martinez-Andrade lamented that her friend also had her whole life ahead of her.
“A lot of people were hurt by this, because she was just always smiling, and she got along with everybody,” said 23-year-old Katelynn Sanchez, who knew Martinez-Andrade from Selma, a farm town near Fresno. “A lot of people would really notice her vibe when we would go out. She was just one of those people you meet and you just instantly like.”
Sanchez said Martinez-Andrade and another friend had gone to Sacramento on Saturday night to see Tyler, the Creator and Kali Uchis. Sanchez stayed home because it was her daughter’s birthday.
Martinez-Andrade, who worked for her brother’s landscaping company, was “about her family” and “really caring,” Sanchez said. “She loved her mom a lot. She was a really good daughter to her.”
“She was so young,” Sanchez added.
Friends and family of the three men killed talked about what a loss it was for their children.
“His kids meant everything to him,” said a friend of Hoye-Lucchesi. The friend, who asked not to be named, said the 32-year-old was “active in their lives, a really good dad.” He was also a caring and dependable friend, she added, always there in a crisis.
On Sunday, a man named Frank Turner was photographed in downtown Sacramento being turned away by police while looking for his missing son. On Monday, the Sacramento County coroner confirmed what the Turner family had already heard — Devazia Turner was one of those shot dead.
Devazia Turner’s wife and sister described the 29-year-old, a father of four, in similar terms: a happy person who was full of energy and with a talent for making others smile.
“Everybody loved him,” said Syerra Mathis, his wife.
He “just wanted to love on you,” added his sister. “He was just a good person. He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t.”
Mathis said she talked to Turner an hour before the shooting, checking in to see when he would be coming home. The two never slept apart, she said.
“He said to go to sleep and wait for him,” Mathis said, breaking down in tears. She later got a call from someone who was with him at the time, breaking the news.
Fred Harris Jr., 41, described his younger brother, Sergio, as a “pretty good guy, well-rounded and well-liked,” and said that along with his two girls and son, he also loved his car, shoes and drinking Champagne.
“Everybody’s going to remember Sergio,” he said. “He was just a good guy, well-liked in the community. He did everything for everybody.”
Court documents show that Dandrae Martin — identified by Sacramento police as Dandre Martin in earlier statements — has an extensive criminal record.
In 2014, records show, he was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence upon a spouse or partner in Riverside County and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Two years later, he was convicted of attempting to commit aggravated assault in Maricopa County and served a stint in an Arizona prison.
More guns, including assault weapons, are on the street, as the mass shooting in Sacramento reveals all too brutally.
As police continued to process evidence and workers tried to get back to business, state employees went to work in the Capitol a block away.
The Assembly adjourned its session Monday in memory of the victims. And in Washington, President Biden pointed to the incident as an example of the need for more action on gun control.
“We know these lives were not the only lives impacted by gun violence last night,” the president said in a statement. “And we equally mourn for those victims and families who do not make national headlines.
“But we must do more than mourn; we must act.”
Garrison reported from Sacramento, and Winton and Mejia from Los Angeles. Times staff writers Anita Chabria in Sacramento, and Erika D. Smith and Marisa Gerber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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