Sacramento, California – Six huge photos, crowned with flowers and garlands, took to the streets in downtown California on Wednesday, each with a small monument of bouquets, candles and postcards on a sidewalk dedicated to the six people who were shot dead last weekend at a gangster dispute that turned into a mass shooting.
Candle vigils, grim press conferences and personal moments between friends and family were held this week as the community in downtown Sacramento struggled to understand the tragedy.
Violence erupted early Sunday as two groups of gang-linked men opened fire as bars and clubs emptied when they closed, police said. At least five gunmen fired dozens of rapid-fire shots into the streets, and visitors fled in terror.
Six people were killed and 12 others were shot, including two brothers who were arrested in connection with the massacre. At least two people were still hospitalized on Wednesday.
The Sacramento County Medical Examiner identified the six killed as: Jontaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Jamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Luquezi, 32; and Devazia Turner, 29.
Police said on Wednesday that evidence showed that at least five people had opened fire there in what authorities called a gang-related shootout, but did not specify which gangs. Authorities arrested the two brothers in connection with the shooting, but did not disclose their alleged roles. No one has yet been charged with murder.
Turner had four young children, including a 3-year-old daughter named Penelope with sticky fingers. But his bright yellow Mercedes CLS was always clean.
Born and raised in Sacramento, Turner played football from an early age until a knee injury slowed him down. He worked as an inventory company manager, keeping a close eye on things his mother might like and letting her know when they would go on sale.
“He was a defender,” said his mother, Penelope Scott. “Raising him as a single mother, he took on the role of a man in the house. He took care of everything. “
He trains with his father Frank Turner five days a week. When they weren’t pumping iron, they must have been talking about cars. They both had old Buicks – Turner was from 1973, while his father’s was from 1970 – and Turner had big plans for his own. He had just ordered a new stereo and a cherry-covered steering wheel.
Frank Turner said he plans to finish his son’s car, including painting it to include images of De’vazia’s face for his children to see.
“I want to see my father when they see this car,” said Frank Turner.
Devasia Turner had visited her mother on Saturday, eating leftover pork chops and taking a shower before falling asleep on her couch. When he woke up, he said he was leaving, a rarity for him because he worked so hard, Scott said.
Scott woke up around 1 in the morning and couldn’t sleep again. She was looking at her phone when she was told that her son had been killed.
“Your children have to bury you. You don’t have to do that, “she said. “I am grateful that he has an inheritance with his children. However, you know, he’s 29. He didn’t make it to 30. “
The last time Frank Turner saw his son was at the car dealership. After his son’s death, a friend called Frank Turner and told him that the store’s security cameras had captured their conversation.
He watched the video – father and son spending time together for something they love – and cried.
Alexander was simply ashamed to turn 22 when she was killed, her father told the Los Angeles Times. Her birthday was at the end of the month.
She hoped to become a social worker who would work with children and be a loving aunt to her nephews, John Alexander told the newspaper.
His daughter’s name is a combination of his and his older sister’s, he told the Times.
“She was just beginning her life,” he told the newspaper, sobbing. “Stop all this pointless shooting.”
Davis was a “very cheeky lady” who lived on the streets of Sacramento near the scene of the shooting, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Sean Peter, leader of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, who has known Davis for 15 years, told the newspaper she had been homeless and had lived in the area for a decade.
Officials helped her find a home before the pandemic began, but she has returned to the downtown business district in recent months, Peter said. A small bouquet of purple roses with the note “Melinda rest in peace” was left in her memory on the street.
“Melinda was a very eccentric person, a very impudent lady,” he told the newspaper. “It was her world, 24/7.”
Davis was a regular guest at Maryhouse, a day center for women and children experiencing homelessness, from 2016 to 2018, director Shannon Stevens said in an email to the Associated Press. Stevens reminded her of a sweet but man who didn’t do well in crowds. At that time she was looking for housing services.
“It was a place she came to find a break from the trauma of living on the streets of our city,” said a statement from Sacramento Loaves & Fishs, which runs the Maryhouse program.
A memorial to Davis near the scene of the shooting contained a message card, including one that read: “Melinda, we are sorry that Sacramento misled you. He deserved better. “
Described by family members as the life of the party, Harris was often present at the London nightclub, which is close to the shooting scene.
“My son was a very lively young man,” his mother, Pamela Harris, told KCRA-TV. “It’s fun to be around, I like to party, smiling all the time. Don’t bother people. To make this happen is crazy. I am currently on the subject, I do not know what to do. I don’t even feel it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream. “
Members of his family gathered at the crime scene on Sunday after not hearing about him for hours. Later that day, Harris was the first victim publicly identified by the coroner.
“This is a sad and horrific act of violence that has taken the lives of many,” his wife, Leticia Harris, told KCRA-TV. “I want answers so I can finish for my children.”
Martinez-Andrade was killed in front of her best friend, according to KXTV-TV.
She was described as a person who “brought light into the room,” the station said, and had a positive outlook.
“It simply came to our notice then. She has a beautiful heart and a beautiful mind. Everyone misses her so much, “her best friend, who was not named, told KXTV-TV.
Hoye-Lucchezi was born and raised in Sacramento, and his survivors include his mother, girlfriend and six young children, KCRA 3 reported.
“I never wanted children and if I said I would have a child, I just wanted a boy. And I was blessed with a boy, “Sherilyn Hoy told television.
Hoye-Lucchesi’s friend called Hoye at 2:45 a.m. to break the tragic news. She later saw painful photos on social media.
“It was my son’s post on earth dead. It was sent to me via Instagram. “My son was lying dead on the ground,” Hoy told KCRA.
A memorial with white and blue balloons, candles and two empty Hennessy bottles was left on a block from the Hoye-Lucchesi shooting. Someone wrote “Josh” on the ground in what looked like blue paint.
“I love you and I miss you. Foreva n my heart! “Someone wrote with a black marker on a white balloon shaped like a star.” Things will never be the same, “reads another balloon.
Dacio reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Kathleen Rhonein of Sacramento contributed to this report.
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The 6 lives lost in the Sacramento mass shooting
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