Sacramento Police Chief Addresses the Mass Shooting

From left, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce Jay King, President of the Sacramento NAACP, Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester and Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela as Chief Lester gives a press conference on a downtown shooting that killed six people and injured twelve on Sunday, April 3, 2022. (Photo by Robert J Hansen)

by Robert J. Hansen

Sacramento, CA – Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester held a press conference earlier today on the shooting that happened at around 2:30 a.m. near 10th Street and K Street in downtown Sacramento, claiming the lives of six people and injuring twelve.

Six adults, three men and three women, died as a result of the shooting and the other twelve victims are being treated in area hospitals according to Lester.

“This investigation is only hours old and we are at the beginning of the process,” Lester said. “ I know you have questions today and I won’t be able to answer all of them as I won’t do anything that would jeopardize this investigation.”

Lester said the detectives know that a large fight took place just before the shootings and have confirmed that there were multiple shooters.

Detectives are interviewing numerous witnesses and the department has collected hundreds of pieces of evidence from the scene.

“One of the items that we found was a stolen handgun,” Lester said.

She also said the department has a video that captured parts of the shooting and has received multiple videos and tips from the public.

City Hall has been opened as a meeting point and an information point for the public to continue bringing information to the police.

“What happened last night is the biggest and most recent example of what we all know, gun violence is truly a crisis in our community,” Lester said. “It has increased not only here in Sacramento but across the nation.”

Chief Lester said this tragedy strengthens the department’s commitment to reducing violence in the community and its commitment to finding meaningful and lasting solutions to the problem.

Officers heard gunshots and saw people running and were on the scene almost immediately, where they encountered a large crowd and multiple gunshot victims according to Lester.

“We have families whose loved ones have been hurt and families whose loved ones simply aren’t coming home today,” Lester said.

Lester said officers began to give medical aid, including CPR to the victims that they found, and were assisted by officers of the California Highway Patrol as well the Sacramento Fire Department.

“The scale of violence that just happened in our city is unprecedented during my 27 years with the Sacramento Police Department,” Lester said. “We are shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy but we are also resolved as an agency to find those responsible and to secure justice for the victims and their families.”

Lester said the police department is committing a lot of resources to this crime and is thankful to its regional and community partners who have reached out to help us.

She said Governor Gavin Newsom’s office has also offered assistance to the department.

“We all understand that solving the problem of gun violence will require a community-wide effort because public safety is a shared responsibility,” Lester said.

About The Author

Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Robert is covering the Yolo County DA's race for the Vanguard.

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    1. Alan Miller

      I’m guessing it was gang violence, we’ll clearly have to wait and see.  Whether the result of progressive policies or not is hard to say.  Sacramento has always been a rough town — a rough underbelly you might say.  I remember seeing a fight between what-may-have-been two cars full of gang members where they stopped and starting attacking each other in the intersection outside my friend’s house on R Street in the middle of the day.  That was in 1975.  Left an impression.  The veneer appears more polished these days, but that underbelly . . . that underbelly . . .

      This is different yet the same as what happened in Davis.  It’s letting the nightclub scene get out of control and refusing to recognize that the energy is getting manic and dangerous (because the cash is flowing).  I testified a couple of times about the scene in downtown Davis on Thu-Sat nights 10:45pm to 2:15am and how it was out of control for several years.  But it took the Ket-Mo-Ree Murder to turn that off.  I hope we don’t forget.  Don’t forget, Davis.

      I’ve been to the K Street (and R Street) scene in Sac, usually passing through.  It gets mighty scary sometimes starting around 11pm.  Crowds of intoxicated young people.  The nightclubs make a killing, as does the city.  Then young people get killed.  Will Sacramento realize they are creating the scene and the energy that fosters these incidents?  Do y’all remember the New Years Eve killings in Sacramento several years back?  Similar scene.  Sacradeatho.  I doubt Sac will do anything about their scene — they’ll blame the gangs and/or the guns.  I’ve got to give Davis credit — we did shut down the scene.

  1. Chris Griffith

    I’d like to make a modest proposal and say we update the California gun laws to allow access to rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns, maybe some gunships, and small tactical nukes. I mean, if we want to keep a rogue state government in check, we need the correct tools to even the playing field.

    1. Alan Miller

      But now that’s not even the question.  The question today is about how cruel it is to lock up a murderer for the rest of their life, so . . .

    2. Ron Oertel

      I’m going to guess that some (might) claim that systemic racism should be arrested and charged. In their view, that system is probably the one that’s responsible for it in the first place.

      Either that, or they won’t be much interested in it – regardless of who it victimizes (which probably isn’t a “system”).

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