SACRAMENTO: 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 at about 2 a.m. when they heard gunfire. When they arrived at the scene, they found a large crowd gathered on the street and six people dead. Another 10 either took themselves or were transported to hospitals. No information was given on their conditions.
Authorities don't know whether one or more suspects were involved.
Kelsey Schar, 18, was staying on the fourth floor of Citizen Hotel when she said she heard gunshots. She walked to the window and “saw a guy running and just shooting,” Schar told The Associated Press.
She saw flashes from the gun in the dark.
Madalyn Woodard, 17, who was also staying at the same hotel, said she saw a crowd of people sprinting down the street. She saw one girl who appeared to have been shot in the arm and lying on the ground. Security guards from the nightclub rushed to help her.
“These security guards from the nightclub I think it was where she was right by, they brought, like napkins. I could see the bloody napkins they were using," Woodard said.
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying who is responsible. Lester did not give specifics on the type of gun used.
This is “a very complex and complicated scene,” she said. Lester issued a plea to the public, asking for witnesses or anyone with recordings of the incident 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. Video showed multiple ambulances at the scene.
The shooting — which occurred just two blocks from the state Capitol — was decried by top political officials.
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. The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage,” he said.
Meanwhile, via Twitter, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said: “Words can’t express my shock & sadness this morning. The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend.”
“Rising gun violence is the scourge of our city, state and nation, and I support all actions to reduce it,” he said.
Residents were asked to avoid the area, which is packed with restaurants and bars, including the London nightclub.
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 was at London.
Harris said she has been to the club a few times and described it as a place for “the younger crowd.” Bars and clubs close at 2 a.m. and it's normal for streets to be full of people at that hour.
She has spent the morning circling the block waiting for news.
“Very much so a senseless violent act,” she said.
Steve Hicks was staying at the Citizen hotel with his fiancé and two daughters after attending a Tyler the Creator concert at the Golden One Center. He said he did not hear gunshots but the sirens woke him up.
Police have the streets around the club closed, with yellow police tape fluttering in the early morning breeze.
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 would not give their genders or conditions, referring media to police.
Sunday’s violence was the latest in Sacramento. Last month, 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. His daughters were 13, 10 and 9 years old.