California Governor Decries ‘Scourge’ Of Gun Violence After 6 Killed in Sacramento

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference to unveil the next phase of California's pandemic response in Fontana, California, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference to unveil the next phase of California’s pandemic response in Fontana, California, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D)described a deadly mass shooting in Sacramento as a “horrendous act of gun violence” in a statement issued hours after six people were killed and 12 injured in a downtown entertainment district Sunday.

The massacre, which took place in the early hours of the morning, occurred in a section of the city filled with bars and restaurants, Sacramento news station KXTV reported. By Sunday evening, only one victim had been named by a relative, but no official identifications had been made.

Newsom said his administration will “continue to work closely with local and state law enforcement as we monitor the situation.”

“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,” Newsom said in hisstatement. “The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”

Police officers were conducting a routine patrol in the area when they responded to the sound of gunfire and located a large crowd and the victims of the shooting, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

“Officers began lifesaving measures to multiple victims on scene,” police said in a news release. “Despite these efforts, six victims were pronounced deceased at the scene.”

Four of the victims were taken to UC Davis Medical Center, while another victim was taken to Sutter Hospital, reported KCRA Channel 3 in Sacramento.

At least one firearm had been recovered from the scene, the Sacramento Police Department reported.

A video has surfaced on Twitter appearing to show the shooting. In that video, a number of people can be seen fighting until gunfire begins, sending people running from the scene.

Police said in a press release that they were investigating a social media video that “appears to show an altercation that preceded the shooting” to determine whether it was related to Sunday’s shooting.

During a press conference, newly appointed Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester saidthe shooting was “a very complex and complicated scene” and urgedresidents to contact police with any information. Those who might have any evidence were asked to submit it to the Sacramento police website.

Police are searching for at least one person in connection with the shooting and a gun that was retrieved from the scene. A $1,000 reward was being offered for any information that leads to that person’s apprehension, according to KXTV.

After the shooting, victims’ family members gathered in the downtown area as they sought answers Sunday on the whereabouts or conditions of their loved ones.

“I just think it’s a damn shame that the Sacramento Police Department hasn’t confirmed anything to any of the families,” Pamela Harris, whose 38-year-old son, Sergio, was in the area at the time of the shooting, said in an interview with KCRA. “I’m not standing out here to be nosy. I want some answers.”

Harris later found out her son was one of the six people killed.

“My son was a very vivacious young man,” Harris told KCRA. “For this to happen is crazy. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even feel like this is real. I feel like this is a dream.”

Details about other victims was still being released by Sacramento police Sunday evening.

A number of community leaders have spoken about the tragedy, including community activist Berry Accius, who was on the scene after the shooting.

“The first thing I saw was like victims,” Accius told The Associated Press. “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?’”

Sacramento Mayor Darryl Steinberg also released a statement in response to the shooting.

“Words can’t express my shock & sadness this morning,” Steinberg said in a tweet.

Echoing Newsom, Steinberg also noted that gun violence was on the rise in Sacramento.

“Rising gun violence is the scourge of our city, state and nation, and I support all actions to reduce it,” he added. “Our new Police Chief, Kathy Lester, has made it a top priority, and I stand firmly behind her.”

Sacramento City Council member Katie Valenzuela, who represents District 4, where the shooting occurred, said it was one of many violent incidents she had encountered since taking office in 2020.

“I got the call no elected official wants to get,” Valenzuela tweeted. “Another shooting. More lives lost. The national gun violence epidemic has hit our community — again.”

Another deadly mass shooting occurred just one month earlier, when a man opened fire on his three daughters and one other person, then killed himself at a Sacramento church.

The Sacramento Kings basketball team, which plays at the Golden 1 Center, near the shooting site, expressed condolences in a statement released Sunday morning.

“Our community grieves as we mourn those lost today senselessly killed by gun violence,” the team said. “Our prayers are with those who have been wounded and heart goes out to all the families in anguish affected by this devastating act.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.


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