Neighbors described them as a family that was constantly fighting, but the violence never seemed to get out of hand.
On Monday, it spilled into the open, when the family’s twin sons, Kevin and Cody Martinez, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The night before, police said, the 26-year-old brothers took knives and began stabbing their parents in the parking lot of the apartment complex in the 1500 block of Los Robles Avenue.
“Blood was just spilling everywhere, everywhere,” said Angie Burnette, the complex’s property manager who saw the incident.
Sgt. Justin Brown, a Sacramento police spokesman, said the victims – who were not officially identified – suffered stab wounds to their upper bodies. The couple remained in serious condition Monday at a hospital.
Friends and neighbors said they knew the male victim only as Richard and said he was the siblings’ stepfather.
Burnette said she was surprised by how calmly the parents reacted.
“He had a gaping hole in his back,” Burnette said of the man. “They weren’t crying. They were just still talking.”
Neighbors eventually told the couple to lie on the ground to stem the bleeding.
“He kept saying, ‘my wife, my wife,’ ” said neighbor Kamiko Brown, 50.
Brown said the man constantly argued with the suspects.
The mother “wants her kids there, but he doesn’t,” she said. “It’s an ongoing thing.”
Brown said the brothers would sleep in the hallway because their stepfather would not let them into the unit. The apartment where the family lived had a small handwritten sign on the window that read, “Kevin & Cody do not break in.”
Bill Gilbert, 54, uncle of the female victim, identified the mother as Tami Christian and claimed he spoke with the siblings after the fight and before their arrest.
Gilbert said the brothers told him they were trying to take their mom to a hospital for an ailment when the husband intervened.
He said the siblings told him one of the brothers “got smacked in the face first.”
Police spokesman Brown said he did not know what started the argument.
Kevin and Cody Martinez drove off after the stabbing, and police found them around 8 a.m. Monday. The pair will face attempted murder charges. They are being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail without bail and will be arraigned on Wednesday.
The brothers have a history of criminal activity. Kevin Martinez pleaded no contest to controlled substance charges in 2012, according to Sacramento Superior Court online records.
The records also show that Cody Martinez in 2014 was charged with theft but never appeared for his arraignment. He plead no contest to vehicle theft during the same year.
Roshawn Tyson, a 25-year-old resident of the apartment complex, called the case a “ripple” in a wave of violence that has hit North Sacramento and the Del Paso Heights community in recent months.
“I’ll just pray and do what I can to make sure me and my family is safe,” said Tyson, who grew up in the area.