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Sacramento church shooting: 5 dead as man kills his three children and then takes own life

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A mass shooting occurred at a Sacramento church around 5 PM on Monday, February 28.

The gunman was identified as 39-year-old David Mora Rojas, according to the Sacramento County Coroner’s office. His victims were his three daughters: 9-year-old Samarah Mora Gutierrez, 10-year-old Samantha Mora Gutierrez, and 13-year-old Samia Mora Gutierrez. There was also another victim, a 59-year-old man named Nathaniel Kong, who was shot before David also took his own life.

David Rojas was estranged from his wife, who had a restraining order against him. The wife is safe and is cooperating with authorities. The shooting took place during a supervised visit of David with his children, and Nathaniel was there overseeing the visit.

Per CNN, no one else in the church or the adjacent area was involved in the shooting or required medical attention. This incident marks the 70th mass shooting of 2022 that killed or injured at least four people, excluding the shooter. Sgt. Rod Grassman, a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, called the shooting a “domestic violence incident.” He also noted that people with a restraining order against them cannot legally own firearms.

Per USA Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement saying, “Another senseless act of gun violence in America – this time in our backyard. In a church with kids inside. Absolutely devastating. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and their communities.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg called the shooting “an unspeakable tragedy.” Per the NY Times, his statement was very much in line with Newsom’s: “It happens too often, and tonight it happened in our backyard. First thoughts are with the victims and their families. Same to the first responders who have to confront such a horrible scene.”

Grassman echoed this nod to first responders by mentioning the amount of physical evidence at the scene. “You can count on that we will be out here for the night.”

The site of the shooting is simply called The Church. It is located in a suburban area just east of Sacramento. It is a multicultural, blue-collar neighborhood comprised of families, first-time home buyers, and older individuals. It is unclear why Rojas was there since the nondenominational church was holding its services online due to the pandemic.

A church employee was upstairs at the time of the incident and called the police upon hearing gunshots in the main sanctuary.

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