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Three charged with murder in Sacramento mass shooting

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (AP) – Three alleged gang members were charged with murder on Tuesday in the slayings of three women fatally shot in a gunbattle that rocked California’s capital city a month ago.

Prosecutors said the mass shooting that ultimately killed six people and erupted before dawn on April 3 in downtown Sacramento was a result of a feud between two rival gangs, the Garden Blocc Crips and G-Mobb, and their allies. G-Mobb is affiliated with the Bloods street gang.

Officials sasid at least five people opened fire. Six people were killed in the bloodshed, including three alleged gang members who were involved in the shootout. A dozen more people were wounded – two of whom are also alleged gang members and are now charged in the violence.

In court documents filed on Tuesday, police described in minute-by-minute and frame-by-frame detail from multiple surveillance cameras a chaotic shootout with men flashing weapons tucked into their waistbands and bystanders running for cover as the suspects confronted each other outside a jewellery store in downtown Sacramento. Cars hurriedly backed away from the intersection, a vendor abandoned a food cart, and the suspects postured at each other before the shooting began.

An unidentified woman standing between the two groups was pulled back by one gunman, then another after she returned to her spot in the middle. One of the wounded victims – a member of the Del Paso Heights Bloods, an ally of G-Mobb – said a member of the 29th Street Crips confronted him: “Dude was like, ‘What’s you staring at? Is there a problem?’”
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced on Tuesday that Smiley Martin, Dandrae Martin and Mtula Payton have been charged with murder in the slayings, as well as weapons offences. All three are eligible for death penalty but that decision has not been made yet.

Investigators offered no motive, but said in court documents that Smiley Martin and his companions recorded an online video hours before the shooting, flashing guns and talking trash from a location in rival gang territory.