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Monday, February 26, 2024

‘This just keeps happening. Over and over’: Students respond to Sacramento shooting

Students, faculty and experts speak on Sacramento shooting that killed six and injured 12 

By CHRIS PONCE  — city@theaggie.org

 

Content Warning: This article contains descriptions of gun violence and death which some readers may find disturbing.

 

On April 3 at approximately 2 a.m., police officers responded to a mass shooting in the 10th St. and K St. area in downtown Sacramento, according to a press release from the City of Sacramento Police Department. In a later press release, police stated they believe that the mass shooting, involving at least five shooters, was a result of gang violence.

 Details on the mass shooting are still limited as of April 18, the Sacramento Police Department is investigating and tracking suspects. In a press release from April 12, authorities announced a suspect they believe to be one of the 5 shooters, Mtula Payton. Payton is wanted on other violent crimes, and his whereabouts are unknown. Authorities called on the public to send them information that may assist in the ongoing investigation. 

Some Davis residents say the mass shooting has left an impact on the community. Davis sits roughly 18 miles away from Sacramento. UC Davis’ Chancellor Gary May made an official statement on April 3 via the UC Davis website regarding the shooting.

“To our Sacramento community, we offer our condolences and support,” May said in the statement. “We are all interconnected, and days like this remind us that we must do all we can to prevent gun violence. We must put an end to gun violence that impacts families and communities long after headlines turn to other global events.”

Director of UC Davis’ Violence Prevention Research Program, Dr. Garen Wintemute, also made a statement regarding the Sacramento mass shooting. According to UC Davis Health, Wintemute is a renowned expert in the field of gun violence. Wintemute commented via email on his reactions to the mass shooting. 

“[I felt] Grief for those who died, and sadness for the thousands of others who are affected: those who were wounded and survived, family members and friends of all who were shot, the many others at the scene, and people all around the world whose painful memories of their own tragedies are reawakened each time they learn of an event like this,” Wintemute said via email.

Some students on campus have also been vocal about their opinions related to the shooting. Many have expressed that it feels personal due to the short distance from Sacramento to Davis. Ava Hurley, a first-year student majoring in marine and coastal science, spoke on the shooting’s impact on her. 

It was really heartbreaking and unsettling to hear about the shooting,” Hurley said. “I think being less than half an hour away from the incident made it especially eye-opening. I feel that for myself and for other Davis students there was a personal sense of fear involved, as many of us have family in Sacramento.”

Madi Burns, a first-year landscape architecture major, shared her reaction to finding out the news regarding the shooting. Burns mentioned via Snapchat messaging that she felt desensitized to this kind of news. 

I found out about it through my mom,” Burns said. “To be honest, I’ve been a little detached from the news lately and mostly hear about it through her. It was scary to have it so close to home (being Davis)…but another kind of shameful part of me was not surprised. This just keeps happening. Over and over. I feel as though I’m being desensitized and that’s honestly troubling to me.” 

There have now been eight shootings in 2022 around the Sacramento area according to the Gun Violence Archive. Governor Gavin Newsom made a statement on the mass shooting in relation to gun violence on April 3 stating, “Sadly, we once again mourn the lives lost and for those injured in yet another horrendous act of gun violence.”

According to the Sacramento Police Department, another suspect, Dandrae Martin. was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm, and more than 100 expended shell casings were found at the scene of the shooting. Wintemute also pointed to the issue of firearms and detachable magazines in regards to the shooting.

“Mass shootings tend to involve firearms that accept detachable magazines, as was the case here,” Wintemute said via email. “They allow for a higher sustained rate of fire and more casualties. Most mass shooters—80 percent or so—make their intentions known in advance. One of the most important measures is also one of the simplest: if you see something, say something.”

Hurley spoke out about solutions to the gun crisis in the U.S.. She said she hopes that those in power stop replying with platitudes and start responding with solutions. 

“The need for increased gun control with effective and fair enforcement strategies is a necessity if we want to prevent more tragedies like what happened Sacramento and in so many other cities,” Hurley said. “I can’t imagine how difficult it is for the victims’ families to hear the phrase ‘thoughts and prayers’ time after time while there is no concrete progress in gun laws being seen. My heart breaks for these families, and I’m holding onto hope that lawmakers will start to listen and that these troubling gun violence headlines will start to lessen.”

 

Written by: Chris Ponce — city@theaggie.org 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, a list of resources can be found at the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center. Students can schedule individual counseling sessions through the Student Health and Wellness Center at 1(530)752-0871, text RELATE to 74174 to confidentially chat with a crisis counselor or call Yolo County’s 24-hour crisis line at 1(530)756-5000. 

 

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