By ADAM BEAM
SACRAMENTO, Calif (AP) — Six people were killed and 10 injured in a mass shooting early Sunday as bars and nightclubs were closing in downtown Sacramento and police in California’s state capital were searching for at least one suspect.
Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said at a news conference that police were patrolling the area two blocks from the Capitol at about 2 a.m. when they heard gunfire and rushed to the scene. They found a large crowd gathered and six people dead in the street. Another 10 either took themselves or were transported to hospitals. No information was provided about their conditions.
Authorities don’t know whether one or more suspects were involved. This is “a very complex and complicated scene,” Lester said.
She issued a plea to the public, asking for witnesses or anyone with recordings of the shooting to contact police.
Shortly after the shooting, video was posted on Twitter that showed people running through the street amid the sound of rapid gunfire.
Kelsey Schar, 18, was staying on the fourth floor of Citizen Hotel when she said she heard gunshots and saw flashes in the dark. She walked to the window and “saw a guy running and just shooting,” Schar told The Associated Press in an interview.
Her friend, Madalyn Woodard, 17, said she saw a crowd in the street scatter amid the gunfire. She said she saw a girl who appeared to have been shot in the arm lying on the ground. Security guards from a nearby nightclub rushed to help the girl with what looked like napkins to try to stanch the bleeding.
Sunday’s violence was the second mass shooting in Sacramento in the last five weeks. On Feb. 28, a father killed his three daughters, a chaperone and himself in a church during a weekly supervised visitation. David Mora, 39, was armed with a homemade semiautomatic rifle-style weapon, though he was under a restraining order that barred him from possessing a firearm.
In a tweet, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg decried rising gun violence, calling it “the scourge of our city, state and nation, and I support all actions to reduce it.”
“Words can’t express my shock & sadness this morning. The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend,” he said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that his administration was working closely with law enforcement.
“What we do know at this point is that another mass casualty shooting has occurred, leaving families with lost loved ones, multiple individuals injured and a community in grief,” he said.
The area where Sunday’s shooting occurred is packed with restaurants and bars. Nightclubs close at 2 a.m. and it’s normal for streets to be full of people at that hour.
Kay Harris, 32, said she was asleep when one of her family members called to say they thought her brother had been killed. She said she thought he had been at the London nightclub, which is near the shooting.
Harris said she has been to the club a few times and described it as a place for “the younger crowd.” She spent the morning circling the block waiting for news.
“Very much so a senseless, violent act,” she said.
Berry Accius, a community activist, said he came to the scene shortly after the shooting happened.
“The first thing I saw was like victims. I saw a young girl with a whole bunch of blood in her body, a girl taking off glass from her, a young girl screaming saying, ‘They killed my sister.’ A mother running up, ‘Where’s my son, has my son been shot?’“ he said.
UC Davis Medical Center received five patients from the downtown shooting, spokesperson Stephanie Winn said. She declined to provide their genders or conditions, referring media to police.
This version corrects that the prior mass shooting in Sacramento happened on Feb., 28, not last month.