Third murder suspect arrested in shootout in downtown Sacramento that left six dead

Man is seen in this image firing his gun in  downtown Sacramento.
According to a 47-page arrest warrant filed by the Sacramento County district attorney’s office, a man is seen in this image firing a gun amid what authorities have called a gang shootout April 3. Mtula Payton was arrested Saturday in connection with the shootout.
(Sacramento County district attorney)

Police have arrested a third murder suspect in connection with a gang shootout in downtown Sacramento last month that left six dead and 12 wounded, authorities said.

Mtula Payton was arrested in Las Vegas on Saturday, officials said. He will be transported back to California and booked at the Sacramento County Main Jail.

Authorities had identified three suspects — Payton and rival gang members Smiley Martin and his brother Dandrae Martin — in connection with the barrage of bullets unleashed onto a crowded street just as patrons were leaving downtown bars in the early hours of April 3.


Three men and three women were killed in the shootout.

Sacramento police say there were at least five shooters but are not providing details if any suspects are still at large.

The Martin brothers were brought into custody days after the shootout, but Payton, according to authorities, fled the crime scene in a white Chevrolet Equinox.

Before the shooting, Payton was already wanted on multiple felony warrants, including domestic violence and gun charges, according to authorities.

Detectives had made multiple attempts to locate Payton in the weeks after the shooting and said they had exhausted all leads. Then they discovered that Payton was living in an apartment complex in Las Vegas. They relayed this information to local police, who “worked with our detectives for weeks in an effort to locate Payton,” officials from the Sacramento Police Department stated in a news release.

Payton was arrested Saturday in the 1300 Block of East Hacienda Avenue by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and FBI Criminal Apprehension Team.

Police have said that the shooting was gang-related and that at least five people had drawn weapons and opened fire.

“Our goal is to conduct as thorough an investigation as possible, so that the District Attorney has all the information she needs to present cases that will bring justice to the families of the victims and our entire community,” Sacramento’s Chief of Police Kathy Lester said in the days after the shooting. “The investigation … will continue until we can present prosecutors and the public with a complete picture of this terrible crime.”