The mass killing that left six people dead and 12 wounded outside bars near California’s Capitol last weekend was a gunfight involving at least five shooters from rival gangs, Sacramento police said, reports the Associated Press. Police identified at least five gunmen but there may have been more. Only two suspects — both brothers wounded by gunfire — have been arrested in connection with the shooting. “We’re still working through ... who the actual shooters are in the case,” Sgt. Zach Eaton said. Early Sunday as bars were letting out, rapid-fire bursts of over 100 gunshots echoed through the streets as terrified patrons ran for their lives and others were hit by bullets.
Police said at least two gangs were involved. In 20 years of researching gangs in Los Angeles, Alex Alonso can’t remember a gang-related shooting with such a high body count. “It’s extremely rare that a gang shooting happened as the way this one is being characterized,” Alonso said. “It’s extremely rare to have that happen in a public place with so many victims.” Gregory Chris Brown, a criminal justice professor at California State University, Fullerton, said gangs often target rivals in drive-by shootings with fewer victims, though innocent bystanders are sometimes also struck. “If rival gang members see each other it doesn’t matter if they’re in the Capitol of the United States of America,” Brown said. “If you see a rival gang member and you’re going to attack them, it doesn’t matter where they are.” The large number of casualties was the result of high-capacity weapons in a crowded area, he said. Berry Accius of Voice of the Youth, who leads gun intervention programs, criticized police for calling the crime gang-related, which he said will lead some to “think Black people.”