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Downtown Sacramento shooting leaves at least 18 victims

MILES PARKS, HOST:

We turn now to a deadly shooting that took place early this morning in Sacramento, Calif. At least six people are dead after gunshots rang out in the city's busy downtown area. Nick Miller is covering this story. He's the managing editor of CapRadio, NPR's member station in Sacramento, and he's with us now. Hi, Nick.

NICK MILLER, BYLINE: Hi.

PARKS: So can you just walk us through what we know about what happened?

MILLER: Of course. Fighting and gunfire broke out sometime around when the bars closed, around 2:00 a.m., and this was in the heart of downtown Sacramento's nightlife district. Police say at least 18 people were shot and six people were killed. Law enforcement say they're now looking for multiple shooters. And this unfortunately appears to be the one of the largest mass shootings in Sacramento's modern history and one of the worst in the United States so far this year.

PARKS: Can you tell us a little bit more about the area specifically where this shooting took place and the crowd that was gathered there around 2:00 a.m. last night?

MILLER: This is the busiest hospitality district in downtown Sacramento. And I was actually there Saturday night. I was exactly where the shooting took place. I was there a couple hours before it happened. I was entering a parking garage to leave after a concert. And at this time, I saw dozens of people - they were arriving. They were heading to the nightclubs, and there were long lines spilling into the sidewalks, people waiting to get into a club or a bar. There are videos on social media right now that are horrifying. I don't urge people to look at them. And this is a content warning that they are out there. But it's a terrifying scene, what happened.

And the community reaction - I mean, people are in a state of shock. I was downtown this morning at the crime scene, I saw people crying and wailing. And other people were just gathering to bear witness and look on. And the shooting was in the middle of a road, a half a block from California's Capitol building. And the downtown streets are still closed as police continue to investigate.

PARKS: What are police focusing on at this point?

MILLER: They're looking for tips or clues, and they say they need help. They've gotten some videos and tips, but they need more. A video has emerged on social media of what appears to be a fight breaking out between several groups on the downtown street before gunshots are heard. There's no evidence at this point whether these events are connected, but police have asked if people have any information, that they share them. The city is focusing on healing and making sense of this moment right now. Sacramento's downtown is a lot like many others in the country. It's just emerging from the struggles of the pandemic, and now Sacramento faces the challenge of tragic gun violence as well.

PARKS: That was Nick Miller with CapRadio in Sacramento. Thank you so much, Nick.

MILLER: Anytime. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Nick Miller/CapRadio