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'It's an incredible tragedy' | Downtown Sacramento on edge after mass shooting

The busy section of downtown Sacramento turned into a crime scene in the early morning hours

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — K Street is an area packed with restaurants and bars leading to the Golden 1 Center. The mass shooting in downtown Sacramento has left many of them on edge.

An employee at Koja Kitchen, a Korean-Japanese restaurant just down the street from where the shooting happened, said she was still at work around 2 a.m. when she heard the gunfire.

"You just see a bunch of people flood this way, and people were saying there was a shooting," said Leslie Gomez.

The busy section of downtown Sacramento turned into a crime scene in the early morning hours. Koja Kitchen closed about half an hour before the tragedy unfolded, but Gomez was still at work and feared for her safety when she heard shots ring out.

"I was just like really nervous," she said.

Moments after the shooting, she said a large crowd ran inside the restaurant in a panic. 

"They were holding the doors and making sure that nobody related to the shooting was like coming this way, and everybody was kind of just in chaos for a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what was going on and, as soon as things happen, you kind of see officers fleeing to the scene," she said.

The tragedy also happened hours before a major NBA game at the Golden 1 Center.

Nick Bryant's friend was walking on 10th and K Street and ran for cover when bullet flew through the air.

"He almost got shot at but I'm glad he's OK," Bryant said.

Kings Coach Alvin Gentry called the events "tragic."

"It's an incredible tragedy. I hope it doesn't put a black eye on our city... It's unfortunate that something like that can still happen nowadays in an environment where everybody's out really having fun, just trying to have fun and have a good time," he said.

Two K street businesses also spoke out on the violence. London Sacramento said the shooting happened a block away from their business, but added that they'd provide any information they could for the investigation.

"Our prayers are with the affected families and we continue to grieve with the Sacramento community," the nightclub posted on Facebook.

El Santo Restaurant & Ultralounge wished healing on the community after the act of violence in downtown.

"We are devastated and at a lost (sic) for words on the mass shooting in Downtown Sac. Thankfully our staff is safe. Our condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. May they rest in peace," the restaurant posted, in part, on Facebook.

Richard Lewis, president and CEO of Broadway Sacramento, has been working to help revitalize K Street amid a recent rise in crime in the area.

"The fact is we know Sacramento is trying very hard to put that image to rest and make sure that people understand that downtown and, in particular, K street is in fact safe, and so things like this come up, it's a bit of a setback," Lewis said.

 At the Safe Credit Union Performing Arts Center, two performances of "Wicked" are going on as scheduled. 

"I know that my audience feels safe and we have a significant police presence," he said.

However for Gomez and other business owners on K Street, the shooting still makes them uneasy.

"Now, we're all gonna be on edge for a little bit. I feel like everyone here is gonna be on edge for a little bit," Gomez said.


Sacramento Mass Shooting: Walkthrough of scene, timeline of Sunday morning shooting


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