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Three alleged gang members are now facing three counts of murder each for their involvement in a gunfight last month in downtown Sacramento that left six people dead and a dozen others wounded, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced Tuesday.
“What we know is that this was clearly gang-related,” Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said at a press conference. “There was a gunfight between multiple gang rivals.”
The suspects – Smiley Martin, Dandrae Martin and Mtula Payton – were charged in the deaths of Johntaya Alexander, Yamile Martinez-Andrade and Melinda Davis, three women who prosecutors describe as innocent bystanders in the shooting.
The Martins, who are brothers, are currently behind bars. Police are still searching for Payton.
The other three people who were killed – Devazia Turner, Sergio Harris, and Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi – were also gang members and involved in the shootout, according to prosecutors, which is why no one is facing charges for their deaths.
SACRAMENTO SHERIFF: DOWNTOWN SHOOTING THAT KILLED 6 IS RESULT OF ‘TREATING CRIMINALS LIKE VICTIMS’
The shooting happened in the early morning hours of April 3 as people flooded the streets of downtown Sacramento after bars closed down.
Dandrae is allegedly a member of Garden Blocc Crips, while his brother, Smiley, is allegedly a member of the 29th Street Crips, a subset of his brother’s gang.
Smiley recorded a video in the hours leading up to the shooting flashing guns and making threats, according to prosecutors.
Payton is allegedly a member of G-Mobb, which is affiliated with the Bloods.
Surveillance video showed the rivals confronting each other outside a jewelry store and flashing guns in their waistbands before the shooting, prosecutors wrote in a court filing. More than 100 shell casings were recovered at the scene.
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All three suspects are also facing weapons charges, and Schubert said that more charges could be filed as investigators review evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.