One person was killed and four others were injured by gunshots in a popular nightlife district in downtown Sacramento early Monday, the second time this year that a shooting in the area has claimed multiple lives.
Police received reports of a shooting at 1:51 a.m. in the area of 16th Street and L Street, not far from the state Capitol, as patrons were leaving bars and clubs. Investigators believe the shooting took place near the Mix Downtown nightclub.
When officers arrived at the 1500 block of L Street, they found multiple gunshot victims. Five men were rushed to hospitals, where one was pronounced dead.
The Sacramento County coroner identified the person killed as 31-year-old Gregory Grimes. Family and friends said Grimes was a football star at Boise State University who had returned to Sacramento to train at his alma mater, Inderkum High School.
The other four men are reported to be in stable condition, the Sacramento Police Department said in a news release Monday afternoon.
Details of the shooting remain unclear. The scene Monday morning was cordoned off with yellow caution tape, with reporters and cameramen hovering nearby. Authorities had closed J Street and L Street at 16th Street, where dozens of small evidence cones dotted the streets and sidewalks.
Police were investigating whether there was more than one shooter and asked witnesses to come forward with relevant tips and videos.
“The circumstances surrounding this incident remain under investigation and there is no suspicious information at this time,” the news release said.
On Monday, loved ones shared memories of Grimes, who leaves behind a young son. He visited his parents several times a week and stayed close to his teammates from college and high school.
Reginald Harris, head football coach at Inderkum, described Grimes as a tremendous player, coach, mentor, son and father.
“He was the first student-athlete to receive a scholarship at Inderkum to Boise State and returned to his alma mater at Inderkum to teach special education and coach DLINE for the varsity team,” Grimes’ family said in a statement to CBS-Sacramento. . .
Grimes’s father and mother told the Sacramento Bee that he was their only child and that he took care of their family in ways big and small.
“He has a flower subscription so he can send me random flowers,” his mother said. “It’s just pure.”
The July 4 shooting took place not far from K Street, where several gunmen unleashed a volley of bullets on a busy street in the early hours of April 3. Police said at least five people drew weapons and opened fire in a gang-on-gang shootout. .
Three young men and two young women were killed in the crossfire in April, as well as a well-known homeless woman in the neighborhood. At least 12 other people were injured.
Three suspects, identified by police as rival gang members, were arrested in connection with the shooting.
Waking up Monday to reports of another shooting in the heart of Sacramento, Mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a declaration calling for an end to armed violence.
“Whether it’s a mass shooting or an altercation that turns deadly, the root cause is the same. The proliferation of guns and the lack of proper mental health and social support in our country means that more people are armed and ready to pull the trigger,” he said. “I also implore voters and elected officials at all levels of government to treat gun violence as an emergency that requires an immediate and effective response.”
For Leia Schenk, a longtime activist who has been helping three of the families still recovering from the April shooting, the latest tragedy lays bare the broken promises that continue to disappoint her community.
“It’s heartbreaking. … This could have been prevented,” said Schenk, who runs the local grassroots group Empact Community Organization. “A lot of promises were made about more police…better lighting, better cameras; all these things were promises to the community and they were not fulfilled. So here we are again.”
Schenk remembers being on K Street after the shooting in April, seeing bodies lying on the ground and the pain of so many families. For someone who has provided long-term support to grieving families, Schenk says the consequences of gun violence cannot be ignored.
“Aftercare is very important,” he said. “That’s when everyone leaves, that’s when the cameras go. You’re left with the pain, and that’s more debilitating than anything else.”
He paused, gathering his thoughts. “It’s absolutely horrible,” she said. “Another child today woke up without a father.”