The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department had gone out to the Magnolia Court Apartments twice on Monday before bullets wounded four people, including a 15-year-old girl, later that night, a department spokesman said.
The shooting, reported just before 9 p.m. at the complex in the 4800 block of Myrtle Avenue, happened as 16 people were in the home, including some children as young as 4, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Shots were fired through the closed front door of the second-floor unit, authorities said.
Of the four victims, a 39-year-old woman shot in the head and a 38-year-old woman shot in the face were in critical condition, Sgt. Tony Turnbull said. A 21-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl were in stable condition, he said.
Deputies responded to two reports of a disturbance between people living in the house and another person earlier Monday, said Turnbull, the department spokesman.
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“There were some prior incidents between a group that was in the home and a known party,” said Turnbull, who said he could not elaborate on who that person was or the nature of the prior incidents.
According to neighbor Eden Biddle, one of the women living in the home where the shooting took place said earlier in the day that she had called authorities multiple times. Biddle said the woman was having issues with an ex-boyfriend she had split with months before.
“She told (deputies), ‘Hey, can someone please stay here and watch? We need protection today,’ ” Biddle said.
Jeff Johnson said he was at the apartment complex at the time of the shooting, and described hearing gunfire ring through the block.
“We were over here in the corner and just heard gunshots – pop, pop, pop, pop,” he said.
Johnson said the home’s occupants included several women and young girls, one of whom came outside with a gunshot wound to her leg Monday night.
William Hageman, also a resident in the apartment complex, said the shooting brought to light several safety concerns for him and his wife. The couple have lived there with their two children for about a year and a half and had visited someone who lived there before moving in.
Hageman said the gates installed at the building’s entrance and exit do not work and that there were no functional security cameras in use. Hageman said a security guard who worked there for a brief time was let go.
“It should have never happened, especially to a kid,” he said about the shooting.
Stella De La Cruz, who identified herself as the property manager for the complex, said she was hired two weeks ago to renovate the property and has since started the process of fixing the gates and adding working cameras.
De La Cruz said she did not know how long the attacked tenants had lived there and that she would need to investigate claims that upward of a dozen people lived in the unit.
“It breaks all the rules,” she said.
Turnbull said several people were seen fleeing after the shooting, meaning more than one shooter could be involved.
A motive had not been established, he said.
“Investigators feel that the suspect and somebody in the apartment complex knew each other,” Turnbull said. “(The shooting) was not random.”