California shooting victims remember their kind hearts

0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Father of four. A best friend with a positive personality. A lively party animal. The six people who were killed in a mass shooting in the Californian capital were recalled by friends and family on Monday as police worked to piece together what happened.

Dozens of rapid gunfire rang out early Sunday through the crowded streets of Sacramento, killing three and injuring three men and 12 others.

Investigators were looking for at least two gunmen responsible for the violence on the outskirts of the city’s main entertainment district that occurred as bars and nightclubs closed. By Monday morning, small memorials with candles, balloons and flowers had been placed near the crime scene.

Few details have been released as investigators sift through evidence gathered at what Police Chief Kathy Lester called a complex crime scene. Witnesses submitted more than 100 videos and photos taken during and shortly after the shooting.


The Sacramento County coroner released the identities of the six people killed. They were Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29.

DE’VAZIA TURNER

De’vazia Turner had four young children, including a 3-year-old daughter named Penelope with sticky fingers. But his bright yellow Mercedes CLS was always clean.

Born and raised in Sacramento, Turner played football from an early age until a knee injury slowed him down. He worked as a manager for an inventory company, keeping a close eye on things his mother might like and letting her know when they went on sale.

“He was a protector,” said his mother, Penelope Scott. “Raising him as a single mom, you know, he took on the role of being the man of the house. He took care of everything.

He trained with his father, Frank Turner, five days a week. When they weren’t pumping iron, they were probably talking about cars. They both had old Buicks — Turner’s was a 1973 while his father’s was a 1970 — and Turner had big plans for his. He had just ordered a new stereo and a steering wheel with a cherry wood finish.

Frank Turner said he plans to finish his son’s car, including painting it to include images of De’vazia’s face for his children to see.

“I want them to see their dad when they see this car,” Frank Turner said.

De’vazia visited her mother on Saturday, eating leftover pork chops and taking a shower before falling asleep briefly on her couch. When he woke up, he said he was going out — a rarity for him because he works so hard, Scott said.

Scott woke up around 1 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. She was looking at her phone when she received a call informing her that her son had been killed.

“Your children are supposed to bury you. You’re not supposed to do this,” she said. “I’m grateful that he has a legacy with his children. However, you know, he’s 29. He hasn’t reached 30.

The last time Frank Turner saw his son was at the auto shop where they were working on their cars. After his son died, a friend called Frank Turner and told him that the store’s security cameras had captured their conversation.

He watched the video – a father and son spending time together on something they loved – and he cried.

JOHNTAYA ALEXANDER

Alexander was about to turn 22 when she was killed, her father told the Los Angeles Times. His birthday was at the end of the month.

She hoped to become a social worker who worked with children and was a doting aunt to her nieces and nephews, John Alexander told the newspaper.

His daughter’s name was a combination of his and his older sister’s, he told The Times.

“She was just beginning her life,” he told the newspaper, sobbing. “Stop all this senseless shooting.”

MELINDA DAVIS

Davis was a “very sassy woman” who lived on the streets of Sacramento near the filming location, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Shawn Peter, a Downtown Sacramento Partnership guide who had known Davis for 15 years, told the newspaper that she was homeless and had lived in the area on and off for a decade.

Authorities had helped her find accommodation before the pandemic began, but she had moved back to the downtown business district in recent months, Peter said. A small bouquet of purple roses with a note saying “Melinda Rest In Peace” was left on the street in her memory.

“Melinda was a very eccentric person, a very sassy woman,” he told the newspaper. “It was his world, 24/7.”

Davis was a recurring guest at Maryhouse, a drop-in center for homeless women and children, from 2016 to 2018, director Shannon Stevens said in an email to The Associated Press. Stevens remembered her as nice but someone who didn’t do well in crowds. She was looking for housing services at the time.

“This is a space she has come to seek respite from the trauma of living on the streets of our city,” Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, which operates the Maryhouse program, said in a statement.

SERGIO HARRIS

Described by family members as the life of the party, Harris was a frequent presence at the London nightclub which is close to the location of filming.

“My son was a very lively young man,” his mother, Pamela Harris, told KCRA-TV. “Fun to be there, loved partying, smiling all the time. Don’t bother people. For this to happen is crazy. I’m just at the point right now, I don’t know what to do. I haven’t doesn’t even feel like it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream.”

His family members gathered at the crime scene on Sunday after not hearing from him for hours. Later that day, Harris was the first victim publicly identified by the coroner.

“This is a sad and terrible act of violence that has taken the lives of many people,” his wife, Leticia Harris, told KCRA-TV. “I want answers so I can turn the page for my children.”

YAMILE MARTINEZ ANDRADE

Martinez-Andrade was killed in front of her best friend, according to KXTV-TV.

She was described as someone who “brought light into the room,” the station reported, and had a positive attitude.

“There was never a dull moment with her. She has a beautiful heart and a beautiful mind. Everyone misses her so much,” her best friend, who has not been named, told KXTV-TV.

JOSHUA HOYE-LUCCHESI

A memorial with white and blue balloons, candles and two empty Hennessy bottles was left a block from the shooting in honor of Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi. On the floor, someone wrote “Josh” in what appeared to be blue paint.

“I love you and I miss you. Foreva n my heart!” someone wrote in black marker on a white star-shaped balloon. “Things will never be the same again,” another balloon read.

___

This story has been updated with the correct spelling by De’vazia Turner. It’s De’vazia, not Devazia.

Share.

Comments are closed.