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'Our city is shook': Sacramento reels from second mass shooting this year

Mourners gathered Monday night to remember the victims of an early Sunday morning shooting, that left six dead and 12 others wounded.

SACRAMENTO — The streets of downtown Sacramento were quiet Monday night as loved ones, elected officials and community members lit candles in memory of the six people who were killed early Sunday morning during the city's second mass shooting in less than two months.

Hours earlier, 26-year-old Dandrae Martin was booked on assault and illegal firearm possession charges, Sacramento police said.

The shooting, which left 12 people wounded, occurred in a bustling downtown area shortly after last call. Investigators believe multiple shooters opened fire in the wake of a large fight that spilled into the streets and covered several city blocks.

One of several memorials in downtown Sacramento remembering the six victims of Sunday’s mass shooting.
One of several memorials in downtown Sacramento remembering the six victims of Sunday’s mass shooting.Alicia Lozano / NBC News

More than 100 shell casings were recovered at the scene, and glass remained sprinkled inside a shuttered jewelry store Monday night.

Few details have been made public as police continue to piece together the incident and implore witnesses to come forward with tips and videos.

The Sacramento County coroner released the names of the six people killed. They were Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and DeVazia Turner, 29.

Davis was an unhoused resident of downtown Sacramento, described as "mischievous" and "sassy" by those who knew her.

"She was fantastic," said a volunteer with the local chapter the Democratic Socialists of America, who asked that her name be withheld because of online harassment.

Members of the organization and other volunteer groups gathered Monday afternoon in a nearby park to distribute meals, candles and flowers to other homeless residents in Davis' honor.

"Sometimes folks in our unhoused community don't get remembered in the same way that other folks do," the volunteer said. "We wanted to make sure that we're honoring her memory."

A few blocks away from Davis' memorial, dozens of mourners gathered at the vigil to call for the end of gun violence and find healing as the national eye turned to California's capital.

"Our city is shook," Berry Accius, Sacramento community activist and founder of Voice of the Youth, a mentorship non-profit, said at the vigil. "This is the second mass shooting we've had in Sacramento. What are we going to do about that?"

Six weeks ago a gunman opened fire at a church, killing his three children, their chaperone and himself during a court-supervised visit.

Investigators said David Mora used a homemade semiautomatic rifle-style weapon with an illegal 30-round ammunition magazine to kill his daughters at a Sacramento church Feb. 28 despite a restraining order barring him from possessing weapons.

The murder-suicide stunned the region and renewed calls for tougher gun laws in the nation's most populous state. Those same calls were repeated Monday night amid grief and anger over what Accius called "senseless acts of violence."

"We're not going to normalize senseless acts of violence," he said. "This is no longer going to be a talking point. There is going to be action behind all of the talking and the conversation because we need to move forward."

Bishop Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr. of Center of Praise Ministries, leads city leaders and community members in prayer.
Bishop Parnell M. Lovelace, Jr. of Center of Praise Ministries, leads city leaders and community members in prayer.Alicia Lozano / NBC News

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg vowed to address mental health problems within the community and work towards changing “the sickness in our country and in our culture around guns and around the way we care and don’t care about people.”

“It is long past time that we make mental health a top-tier public health priority,” he said. “Let us create a gentler world but paying attention to the real epidemic in the country and that is the fact that people are hurting.”

But Jackie Henderson, whose cousin, Sergio Harris, died in Sunday’s shooting dismissed the idea that mental health is to blame.

"The last time we had a mass shooting we did the same thing," Henderson said, after spontaneously interrupting another speaker during the vigil.

"We sat out here, held up our candles, talked about 'the police are here for us now, the public officials are here for us now,'" he went on. "How are they here for us when we're sitting here doing the same damn thing again?"

Talking to reporters after the vigil, Henderson said he was moved to speak on behalf of Harris, his wife and their children. Harris was previously described by family members as the life of the party, a frequent presence at the London nightclub near the shooting scene.

Now, instead of spending time with his cousin, Henderson said he and his family have to pool their money to pay for a funeral.

"How many times are we going to sit back and talk about the next time?" he said. "A change has to start. When are we going to let it start?"