Memorials and police tape are covering the sidewalks of Meadowview.
Along Tamoshanter Way, shrines just footsteps apart mark the spots where two young men were shot and killed, one Monday night, the other Tuesday. A few blocks away, a neighborhood park where a 36-year-old woman was shot to death early Wednesday was converted into a crime scene, the walkways spotted with evidence.
Gang violence may be behind two of the homicides, which Sacramento police said were unrelated. No arrests have been made.
In response, Sacramento police have dedicated their seven-member street gang enforcement team to the neighborhood to track down known gang members and serve outstanding warrants.
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The department also will beef up its patrol numbers in the area "for as long as it takes" to calm the situation, said Capt. Daniel Hahn of the special investigations unit.
The killings have shocked residents of the south Sacramento neighborhood and left some fearing for their safety.
"We want to come out at night and enjoy the breeze, but we can't because there might be a body across the street," said Dicy Nunley, who lives on Tamoshanter Way. "This is terrible. It has got to stop."
There have been 42 homicides in the city of Sacramento this year, according to police records.
There were 31 at this time last year and, if the current pace holds, the city will see more killings in 2006 than any year of the past decade.
Increased violence in Meadowview is helping to drive the citywide spike in homicides.
In a little more than seven months, Meadowview residents have seen seven killings -- the same number of killings as last year and nearly double the four killings in 2004, according to a Bee analysis of police records.
"This is the worst I've seen it. Back to back shootings? It's bad," said John Stevens, 35, who lives on Tamoshanter Way and has spent most of his life in the neighborhood.
Robert Placencia, 17, was killed Monday night, shot several times in the chest near the corner of Tamoshanter and Montecito Way at about 10:30 p.m., police said.
Someone left an unopened can of Budweiser and a photograph of Placencia holding a baby near where his body was found.
Investigators have no motive for the killing, and believe his death was not gang-related.
Down the street, a memorial of flowers and lit candles formed near where police said 18-year-old Shaaneel Singh was shot once in the chest at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Some of the candles were wrapped with the "Prayer to the Just Judge." A sign nearby declares the area a "Gun and Drug Free Zone."
Singh's homicide may have had something to do with a dispute over gang membership, said Rod Norgaard, a gang prosecutor with the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.
More than five hours after Singh was shot, police found Sylvia Guerrero slumped over near a parked car outside Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Loma Verde Way.
The mother of three had been shot once in the chest. In the park, someone left flowers and a handwritten note that says "we will pray for you and your family."
"We can't understand this, it's like a nightmare," Inez Martinez, Guerrero's aunt, said Wednesday evening.
Investigators are unsure whether she was associated with a gang, but Hahn said, "It appears that some of the people involved in what led up to the shooting may have had gang ties."
Norgaard, supervising deputy district attorney with the office's gang and hate crime unit, said, "Meadowview is a community that has a very bad problem with gang membership."
He said gangs have a strong, long-lasting presence in the southern part of the city and county. Turf conflicts are amplified by large gang numbers in a concentrated area, said Norgaard, who estimates a majority of violent crimes in the county are committed by gang members.
Hahn said the Police Department estimates there are "a couple thousand" gang members in the city.
"This is an epidemic problem," Norgaard said. "We're going to find ourselves quickly in the situation of Los Angeles and Oakland, and that means (the gangs are) winning. The most important thing you can do is solve the gang murders."
The killings in Meadowview are nothing less than an emergency, said Rhonda Erwin, a community activist.
"If you ignore it, you are going to have this domino effect," she said.
Erwin said she wants the city to begin strictly enforcing its 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for minors and expand it to include those under 25 years old.
Short of that, the community needs to get together and come up with an adequate response -- not hide behind closed doors, she said.
"Something is needed to show that these lives are meaningful," Erwin said.
Police spokesman Terrell Marshall said most of the gang violence in the city results from "minor disputes" and that law-abiding residents of Meadowview should not feel targeted.
"The bottom line is they are not the next target," he said. "The next target is probably a rival gang member."
Police began increasing their presence in the area Wednesday, Marshall said.
"We're going to be hammering them hard," he said. "We can't have this out here, it's causing an uproar."
Wednesday morning, Sally and Alicia Short knelt and prayed for Placencia at the makeshift memorial on Tamoshanter Way.
"We just walked outside our house and we saw the body. It is terrible," said Alicia, 17, who lives with her sister on Montecito Way, a few houses from where Placencia's body was found face down in the street. "We don't normally see things like this."