Sacramento police say there were 'multiple' shooters in violence that left six dead

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 3 (Reuters) - Sacramento police said on Sunday that multiple shooters were involved in early morning violence in which six people were killed and 12 were wounded but the suspects remain at large.

Police Chief Kathy Lester provided no information about any suspects or the motive for the shooting, a few blocks from the state capitol, as bars began to close and revelers poured onto the streets.

"We know that a large fight took place just prior to the shooting, and we have confirmed there were multiple shooters," Lester told a news conference.

Lester said there were three men and three women among those killed. She did not identify any of the victims.

President Joe Biden said the United States was once again mourning a community hurt by gun violence and he called on Congress to pass stricter gun legislation.

"Ban ghost guns. Require background checks for all gun sales. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Repeal gun manufacturers' immunity from liability," Biden said in a statement.

The shooting occurred at about 2 a.m. (0900 GMT), Lester said, near the Golden 1 Center, an arena where the Sacramento Kings basketball team plays and concerts are held.

Police said in a statement that they had recovered at least one gun at the scene and had located 12 victims "with varying degrees of injuries."

Officers cordoned off several blocks and the scene was dotted with blue and red plastic cones that marked evidence.

Relatives waited outside the police lines seeking news about missing loved ones.

Among them was Pamela Harris, who said her daughter had called her at 2:15 a.m. to say that her 38-year-old son, Sergio, had been shot and killed outside a nightclub.

"She said he was dead. I just collapsed," Harris said. She said she was still waiting on official confirmation from police.

"I cannot leave here now until I know what's going on. I'm not going anywhere. It seems like a dream."

Community activist Berry Accius said he had rushed to the scene shortly after the shooting.

"The first thing I saw was a young lady draped in her blood and others' blood. She was just on the phone saying 'My sister is dead! My sister is dead!'," said Accius, whose Voice of the Youth leadership program is focused on gun violence prevention.

The area of the shooting has recently been revitalized as an entertainment center. Over the past week, pandemic masks had started coming off and bars and restaurants began filling with people long isolated by COVID-19.

"The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend. We await more information about exactly what transpired in this tragic incident," Mayor Darrell Steinberg said on Twitter. "Rising gun violence is the scourge of our city, state and nation, and I support all actions to reduce it.

The incident comes a little more than a month after a man shot and killed his three children and a fourth person before taking his own life in the same city. read more

In a separate shooting overnight in Dallas, Texas, a man was killed and 11 people were injured when a person opened fire into a crowd at a concert, Dallas police said. The incident is being investigated.

Reporting by Sharon Bernstein and Nathan Frandino in Sacramento, Katharine Jackson and Rami Ayyub in Washington, Barbara Goldberg in New York and Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Raissa Kasolowsky, Daniel Wallis, Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft

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