K Street Shooting: Sacramento sheriff candidates talk answers


Assemblymember Jim Cooper and Sacramento County Undersheriff Jim Barnes are running for county sheriff, and they are both speaking out on gun violence.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A month after the deadly K Street shootout, officials announced three suspects will be facing murder charges.

Smiley and Dandrae Martin were already being held without bail on weapons charges. The third suspect, Mtula Payton, remains at large.

“We have currently a team of detectives doing everything they can do to locate Mr. Payton,” said Chief Kathy Lester.

The suspects each face three counts of murder, for what Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is calling the three innocent female victims: Johntaya Alexander, Melinda Davis and Yamile Martinez.

The district attorney did not charge the suspects for the three men who died.

Court documents reveal surveillance images showing Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi might have joined the Martin brothers in a gun battle with Sergio Harris, Devazia Turner and Mtula Payton.

“It doesn’t matter whose bullet killed who. What matters was that this was a gun battle between gang members who came armed to this scene in downtown Sacramento and innocent bystanders died,” Schubert said.

Assemblymember Jim Cooper and Sacramento County Undersheriff Jim Barnes are running for county sheriff, and they are both speaking out on gun violence.

Cooper advocated for increasing the number of infractions classified as violent crimes to reduce the number of people who qualify for early release.

“We’ve got to take our streets back and really have zero tolerance,” Cooper said.

“With zero tolerance, we know we have firearms issues. It’s not legal gun owners. It’s individuals that should not possess firearms that are banned from possessing firearms, so we have to put a hammer down on them. It is zero tolerance when it comes to those individuals. The gang issues – zero tolerance,” he added.

He said gang members feel there is no accountability for their actions.

However, even as rival gangs battle it out in the streets of the capital city, Undersheriff Jim Barnes says this is familiar territory. 

“We were faced with that in the 90s. We arrested our way through issues that created the problems that we are facing today, and we cannot arrest our way out of these issues and that’s not where we should be,” Barnes said.

While crediting law enforcement for the work done in getting answers in the case, Barnes said there’s a greater solution to the violence.

“I will tell you what the solution is, and it is something I am already working in. And that’s working with community response teams and community-based organizations to work with law enforcement to identify some of the prolific offenders – to seeing how some of the faith-based organizations or community based organizations can get into these families at a younger age to identify the fact that you might not want to model your loved one or maybe a relative’s behavior who might be conducting in criminal conduct,” Barnes said.

K Street Shootout | Breaking down Sacramento’s gang problem