Sacramento mass shooting suspect found dead in jail cell while awaiting trial

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A 29-year-old man linked to a 2022 mass shooting in Sacramento, California, that killed six people was found dead in his jail cell over the weekend, his attorney confirmed to Fox News Digital on Monday.

Smiley Martin, who was awaiting trial on three felony charges in connection to the April 3, 2022, shooting, died early Saturday morning, his public defender Norman Dawson told Fox News Digital in a written statement.

“It is most tragic that Mr. Martin passed away, fighting to defend his innocence in the preliminary hearing process,” the statement said.

Without identifying the deceased inmate, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted on social media that a 29-year-old inmate died while in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail on Saturday around 2:15 a.m.


Smiley Martin Sacramento Mass Shooting

Smiley Allen Martin was charged with three felonies, including murder, in connection to a fatal mass shooting in Sacramento, California, on April 3, 2022. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

The sheriff’s office said the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death and would release the man’s name once his next of kin are notified. The sheriff’s office said it is continuing to investigate the death.

Jail deputies discovered an unresponsive inmate while conducting a cell check, the sheriff’s office said. The deputies immediately attempted life-saving procedures as medical staff and the fire department responded, but the sheriff’s office said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Martin was awaiting trial on felony charges of murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession and transport of a machine gun, related to the April 3, 2022, shooting.

Emergency personnel walk near the scene of an apparent mass shooting in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Emergency personnel walk near the scene of an apparent mass shooting in Sacramento, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

More than 100 shots erupted around 2 a.m. in a downtown entertainment area near the state Capitol building as bar patrons were filling the streets at closing time. Video from witnesses posted on social media showed rapid gunfire for at least 45 seconds as people screamed in terror and ran to escape the bullets.


Three women and three men were fatally shot and 12 others were injured during the shooting, including two of the alleged shooters. At least five gunmen were involved, police said.


Police investigators place evidence markers on 10th Street at the scene of a mass shooting in Sacramento on April 3, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

Martin, who was 27 at the time, was arrested while hospitalized with gunshot wounds and later charged.

Martin’s brother Dandrae Martin, 26 at the time, was also arrested as a suspect on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He suffered minor wounds in the shooting.


A third man, Mtula Payton, also was charged in connection with the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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