Two brothers have become the main suspects in the shooting that left six dead early Sunday morning in downtown Sacramento, the capital of California. Smiley Allen Martin, 27, was arrested Tuesday by authorities hours after his younger brother, Dandre, was arrested for illegal possession of a weapon and assault. Smiley was one of 12 injured in the altercation. Those responsible for the investigation believe that the Martins modified a pistol to convert it into an automatic rifle in order to increase the power of the shots. A third subject has also been captured this afternoon, but is not directly involved in the incident, according to the Police Department.
Smiley Martin was detained at a hospital. He has a long criminal career since 2013, when he tried to run away and get rid of a gun he was carrying when the police asked to search it. In less than a decade, he added several crimes to his record, among these several robberies and a bloody episode of sexist violence, according to The Sacramento Bee. Surprisingly, and despite the efforts of the local prosecutor’s office, he was paroled last February, while serving a ten-year sentence ordered by the local Supreme Court in 2018.
Police have confirmed that Tuesday that Smiley uploaded a video to Facebook Live on Saturday night in which he appears with a gun. Following the massacre, photos of Smiley wearing a blue bandana, the symbol of the Crips gang, have gone viral. Law enforcement officials have not specified whether the weapon in the images is the same one that was recovered at the crime scene on Sunday. The shooting, which left more than 100 shell casings, occurred in a very busy area of bars and where the Golden 1 Center arena, the stadium of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, is located.
Like his brother, Smiley Martin faces charges for illegal possession of a weapon. Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said Monday that “multiple” shooters were involved in the incident that began shortly after 2 a.m., as area bars were beginning to close. The authorities have not detailed what role the detainees had in the tragedy. The third subject arrested is a 31-year-old man, Daviyonne Dawson. The police affirm that this “was seen loading a weapon in the vicinity moments after the shooting”, but rule out linking it to the death of the six people, three men and three women.
Authorities from the local prison system must answer why they released the main suspect in one of the worst shootings in Northern California. A letter from the district attorney dated April 29, 2021 argued against granting benefits to Smiley Martin. “His conduct is violent and his criminal history is very long,” the document stated. “He has no respect for others, the law or the authorities … If he gets early release he will continue to break the rules,” said the document obtained by The Sacramento Bee.
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The letter addressed to the prison authorities summarized nine years of crimes that began when the person involved was 18 years old and fled from the police when he tried to get rid of the weapon he was carrying. The rifle, recovered by agents, had a pistol grip and could be disassembled thanks to a detachable chamber that held 25 rounds of ammunition. The gun recovered on Sunday, which had been reported stolen, is believed to be capable of being converted into an automatic rifle.
In October 2007, Martin broke into a Walmart with other thieves and stole several tablets worth $2,800. It was the first of several similar heists at department stores. Several witnesses identified Smiley through photographs, for which he got two years in jail.
The appeal of the district attorney, which was not heard, is especially focused on the episode of sexist violence that Martin starred in 2017. The man forced his girlfriend’s house, who was hiding in the closet of his bedroom. When he located her, he “punched her repeatedly with a clenched fist on her face, head, and body… Afterwards, he dragged her out of her house by pulling her into a car where he assaulted her with a belt.” , details the prosecution. The investigation revealed that the criminal forced his partner to prostitute himself and that through text messages and social networks he imposed the rates that the woman should charge and what type of clients she should accept. It was for this crime that he got 10 years in prison in 2018.
This Monday, the forensic doctor confirmed the name of the victims of the event. These were Johntanya Alexander, 21 years old; Yamile Martinez Andrade, also 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Devazia Turner, a 29-year-old man; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32, and Sergio Harris, 38, who had been married for 12 years and left behind three children, ages 5, 6 and 11. Seven of the 12 injured had left the hospital. Among the injured was part of the response to the latest episode of violence shaking the United States.
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