Crime - Sacto 911

Local blues musician arrested after gunfire at Sacramento house party

A prominent Sacramento blues musician who performed first as a 10-year-old was arrested early Friday after firing a gun during a downtown Sacramento house party, police said.

Kyle Rowland, 23, of Sacramento was charged with five counts of attempted murder after firing a weapon at the house party in the 1100 block of G Street just before 2 a.m., said Matthew McPhail, Sacramento Police Department spokesman. McPhail said Rowland was left the party for a short time and returned with two guns. Only one was fired, and no one was injured.

“Investigators think that it was not an accidental firing of the weapon,” McPhail said.

Police officers recovered two firearms, McPhail said. Several partygoers detained Rowland before police arrived, McPhail added.

Rowland plays the harmonica and sings for the Kyle Rowland Blues Band, a local favorite that has frequented the Sacramento area since 2010. On its website, Biscuits and Blues Restaurant and Bar in San Francisco describes the band’s music as a “boisterous Chicago and swampy Texas blues with a pinch of West Coast swing.”

The band frequents the Torch Club cocktail bar on 15th Street and has played at the Sacramento Music Festival and the Woodbridge Winery for the Reds, Whites, and Blues Festival, among other events.

Rowland won the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame award for Best Blues Harmonica and Blues New Artist of the Year in 2009.

Rowland was working as a sheriff’s deputy at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office but was dismissed after his arrest.

Jan Kelley, editor of the Sacramento Blues Society newsletter, said Sunday that Rowland is “well-loved” in the local music community.

“This is quite a shock,” Kelley said. “He is a young guy that we have all seen grow up. We were so proud of him for being a deputy.”

She said Rowland broke into the blues scene when he was just 10 years old and attending the Sacramento Music Festival. Local blues musician Mick Martin spotted Rowland in the crowd, playing his harmonica as he stood on a chair, and then invited him on stage, Kelley said.

She added that Martin has been his mentor since that day.

Rowland was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. A bail amount has not been posted.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department said Rowland joined as a deputy in October and was on probationary status.

Jessica Hice: 916-321-1550, @JesserPea