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SACRAMENTO, California — Police in California are searching for at least one suspect in connection with a mass shooting early Sunday in downtown Sacramento that claimed six lives. Police just updated the number of injured from 10 to 12 victims.

The shooting happened near the state capitol and Golden One Center where the Golden State Warriors are expected to play the Sacramento Kings Sunday night.

Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said at a news conference that police were patrolling the area two blocks from the Capitol at about 2 a.m. when they heard gunfire and rushed to the scene. They found a large crowd gathered and six people dead in the street. Another 10 either took themselves or were transported to hospitals. No information was provided about their conditions.

At a 3p.m. press conference on Sunday, Chief Lester said all of the victims were adults.

“What we now know is that 18 people were hit by gunfire. Six have died. They were all adults. There were three men and three women.”

Authorities urged witnesses or anyone with recordings of the shooting to contact police.

“We’re asking for the public’s help in helping us to identify the suspects in this,” Lester said. Asked if authorities were searching for one or more than one suspects, Lester told reporters that she did not know.

Kelsey Schar, 18, was staying on the fourth floor of Citizen Hotel when she said she heard gunshots and saw flashes in the dark. She walked to the window and “saw a guy running and just shooting,” Schar told The Associated Press in an interview.

Her friend, Madalyn Woodard said she saw a crowd in the street scatter amid the gunfire. A girl who appeared to have been shot in the arm lying on the ground, Woodard said. Security guards from a nearby nightclub rushed to help the girl with what looked like napkins to try to stanch the bleeding.

Sunday’s violence was the third time in the U.S. this year that at least six people were killed in a mass shooting, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. And it was the second mass shooting in Sacramento in the last five weeks.

On Feb. 28, a father killed his three daughters, a chaperone and himself in a church during a weekly supervised visitation. David Mora, 39, was armed with a homemade semiautomatic rifle-style weapon, even though he was under a restraining order that prohibited him from possessing a firearm.

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, who represents area where the shooting happened, said she’s fielded phone calls reporting many violent incidents in her district in the 15 months she’s been in office.

Valenzuela cried at a news conference as she told reporters that the latest phone call woke her up at 2:30 a.m. Sunday with details about the latest tragedy.

“I’m heartbroken and I’m outraged,” she said. “Our community deserves better than this.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg decried rising gun violence at the news conference and said city officials would support the victims. He said the city has worked hard to attract people back to its downtown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that despite the shooting, the city was safe.

“This morning our city has a broken heart,” Steinberg said. “This is a senseless and unacceptable tragedy.”

n a statement on Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said “Sadly, we once again mourn the lives lost and for those injured in yet another horrendous act of gun violence. Jennifer and I send our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and to the wider community impacted by this terrible tragedy.

As it is early in this investigation, my Administration will continue to work closely with local and state law enforcement as we monitor the situation.

“What we do know at this point is that another mass casualty shooting has occurred, leaving families with lost loved ones, multiple individuals injured and a community in grief. The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage.”

The Sacramento Kings said on Twitter, “Our community grieves as we mourn those lost today senselessly killed by gun violence. Our prayers are with those who have been wounded and heart goes out to all the families in anguish affected by this devastating act.”

The area where Sunday’s shooting occurred is packed with restaurants and bars. Nightclubs close at 2 a.m. and it’s normal for streets to be full of people at that hour.

Kay Harris, 32, told AP she was asleep when one of her family members called to say they thought her brother Sergio Harris had been killed. She said she thought he had been at the London nightclub, which is near the shooting.

Harris said she has been to the club a few times and described it as a place for “the younger crowd.” She spent the morning circling the block waiting for news.

“Very much so a senseless, violent act,” she said.

Pamela Harris, Sergio Harris’ mother, told The Sacramento Bee the family has not heard from him yet.

“We just want to know what happened to him,” Pamela Harris told the newspaper. “Not knowing anything is just hard to face.”

But Pamela later confirmed to ABC News Sunday that her son, Sergio Harris, was shot and killed during the Sacramento shooting.

Undated image of Sergio Harris, one of the victims identified in a mass shooting in Sacramento, Calif. on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Berry Accius, a community activist, said he came to the scene shortly after the shooting happened.

“The first thing I saw was like victims. I saw a young girl with a whole bunch of blood in her body, a girl taking off glass from her, a young girl screaming saying, ‘They killed my sister.’ A mother running up, ‘Where’s my son, has my son been shot?'” he said.

UC Davis Medical Center received four patients from the downtown shooting, spokesperson Stephanie Winn said. She declined to provide their genders or conditions, referring media to police.

Ten ambulances and fifty first responders from the Sacramento Fire Department responded to the shooting, according to Capt. Keith Wade.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Source: This post first appeared on abc7NY

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