By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors played their scheduled NBA game at Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento hours after six people were shot and killed four blocks east of the arena.
Under the tragic circumstances, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg urged downtown businesses to remain open, residents to go on about their day, and the Kings and Warriors to take the court.
“Let us not forget that this is a downtown and a central city that we want to continue to build and to grow,” Steinberg said at a news conference at the Sacramento Public Safety Center three hours before tipoff. “I want to encourage people to come down for a game, come down for a concert, and come down to eat. But please don’t stay out until two in the morning.”
The Sacramento Police Department (SPD) is currently investigating a mass shooting that included at least 12 victims in the area of 10th and K streets at approximately 2:00 a.m. on April 3. As of April 6, three suspects have been apprehended including two brothers, Dandrae Martin, 26, and Smiley Martin, 27.
Dandrae Martin was booked Monday, April 4 for felony assault and illegal firearm possession charges, according to SPD. Charges against Smiley Martin are for possession of a firearm by a prohibitive person and possession of a machine gun. He was hospitalized after sustaining gunshot injuries during the shooting,
Detectives recovered a handgun and also arrested 31-year-old Daviyonne Dawson — hours after the brothers were apprehended — on charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
Prior to the mass shooting, downtown Sacramento was busy over the weekend and had three major concerts in the midst of pleasant weather.
The Kings just came off a five-game road trip, ending their travels with a 122-117 victory over the Houston Rockets on April 1. The team won four games while they were away from G1C.
The last time the team received news of gun violence in Sacramento was on Feb. 28 in New Orleans when a man killed four people, including three of his kids, before taking his own life. The shooting happened at a church in the Arden area.
Sacramento coach Alvin Gentry shared his concerns about the latest shooting.
“It’s an incredible tragedy. I hope this doesn’t put a black eye on our city,” Gentry said. “It’s unfortunate that something like that can still happen nowadays in an environment where everybody is just trying to have fun, have a good time. The gun thing has to change.”
Kings forward Harrison Barnes said following the 109-98 loss to the Warriors his “thoughts and prayers” go out to the victims.
“Of my time in Sacramento, I’ve never witnessed anything like that before,” Barnes said. “Talking to the team and people around here you can see it sends a ripple effect throughout the community. It’s senseless and it’s unnecessary.”
Draymond Green, the all-star forward of the Warriors shared his thoughts as well, and expressed his sympathy for the families of the deceased and wounded.
“It’s unfortunate and it’s something you never want to see but it seems to be more and more prevalent in our communities and in our country,” Green said about gun violence. “It’s not a lot you can say but I send my love and prayers to the victims and Sacramento as a whole. These things affect everyone.”
As the country emerges from the effects of the coronavirus, crimes and shootings have taken over the headlines. Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered his condolences to the families of the victims and weighed in on the gun violence issue before his team played the Kings.
“At some point, our government has to decide whether we are going to have some common-sense gun laws. It’s not going to solve everything but it will save lives,” Kerr said. “We have more regulations for driving a car than we do carrying a weapon. It’s no problem to go and buy a semi-automatic rifle. It’s the same stuff over and over again. I am so sorry for the victims and their families.”