Crime - Sacto 911

2 arrested in Natomas birthday party shooting

Sacramento police have arrested two men in connection with the May shooting that killed one man and injured a 7-year-old girl at a birthday party in Natomas.

Authorities described the shootings as gang-related and said narcotics prompted the violence.

Orlando Rhinehart, 28, was arrested Tuesday near San Juan and Truxel roads in Sacramento. Kelly Thomas, 22, was arrested Friday in New York, police said. Both were from the Sacramento region, though neither man was a resident of the neighborhood where the shooting took place.

Detectives received and followed numerous tips from the community that led to a cross-country search for the suspects, said Sacramento Chief of Police Sam Somers during a news conference on Tuesday.

Somers said at least one other suspect will be arrested.

“We are also confident this was not a random act. We believe that several suspects at this birthday party were the intended targets of this brazen attack,” Somers said.

The shooting occurred around 5 p.m. on May 10, when police said two armed gunman pulled up in a vehicle on the east side of Peregrine Park in the Gateway West neighborhood. The pair approached a group of about 50 people gathered for a child’s birthday party and fired shots. One armed party-goer returned gunfire.

Jacoby James, 29, was killed in the shooting. Six other victims, including a girl, 7, were taken to area hospitals and were later released. The child is at home with her family recovering from her injuries.

According to Lt. Pam Seyffert of the Sacramento Police Department’s major crimes division, the break in the case came as a surprise, given that witnesses were reluctant to talk.

“To get to this point where we went from nobody wanting to tell us what happened to making two arrests to date is phenomenal,” she said.

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