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Suspect likely used illegal automatic pistol in Sacramento shooting

Iraqi policemen aim their Glock 9 mm pistols during a live fire familiarization exercise at the Iraqi police academy firing range in Korada, eastern Baghdad, Sept. 24, 2008. (Staff Sgt. Brian Lehnhardt/U.S. Army)
April 06, 2022

On Tuesday, police said they found a stolen handgun that had been illegally converted into a fully automatic firearm near the bodies of those killed in the mass shooting in Sacramento, California, over the weekend.

While investigators have not released any additional details about the weapons used in the shooting, authorities confirmed that at least one gun discovered at the scene had been “converted to a weapon capable of automatic gunfire,” the Sacramento Bee reported.

Meanwhile, one of the suspects arrested in connection with the deadly shooting posted a Facebook Live video of himself wielding a handgun just hours before the slaying took place, police told The Associated Press.

Smiley Martin, 27, had just been released from prison in February after serving his sentence for dragging his girlfriend home by her hair and beating her with a belt. Martin is the brother of the other suspect who was apprehended on Monday.  

“Martin’s criminal conduct is violent and lengthy,” a prosecutor wrote in a letter obtained by Associated Press. “Martin has committed several felony violations and clearly has little regard for human life and the law.”

Investigators believe the pair of brothers had stolen guns, but it is unclear if the pistol converted into an automatic firearm was used in the shooting. It is likely a so-called “auto sear” kit was used to convert the pistol into an automatic weapon.

“Auto sears are everywhere on the street right now,” said Jeffrey Boshek, a 21-year ATF veteran. “They’re one of the scariest things we’ve dealt with since I became an agent.”

Dandrae Martin, 26, was charged with assault with a deadly weapons and being a convict carrying a loaded firearm. His brother faces charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun.

Smiley Martin is currently hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds and will be jailed once his condition improves, police said in a statement.

“Martin was quickly identified as a person of interest and has remained under the supervision of an officer at the hospital while his treatment continues,” the statement said.

The shooting took place on Sunday morning near 10th and K streets near Sacramento’s Capitol Park at around 2 a.m. PST where a large crowd was gathered for unknown reasons. The area is packed with restaurants and bars.

The six individuals killed in the shooting were identified by the Sacramento County coroner as Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29. Twelve others were also injured.

A 31-year-old man was reportedly seen carrying a handgun immediately after the shooting. Police told the Associated Press he was also arrested Tuesday on a weapons charge, though they don’t believe his gun was used during the shooting.