Sacramento mass shooting suspect found dead in jail cell awaiting trial

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

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

“It is extremely tragic that Mr. Martin died while fighting to defend his innocence at a preliminary hearing,” 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 around 2:15 a.m. Saturday.

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Smiley Allen Martin has been charged with three felonies, including murder, in connection with the deadly 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 release the man’s name once his next of kin is notified. The sheriff’s office said it was investigating the death.

The sheriff’s office said jail officials discovered an unconscious inmate while checking his cell. Officers immediately performed life-saving measures, as medical personnel and the fire department responded, but the sheriff’s office said the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Martin was awaiting trial on charges of murder, possession of a firearm and possession and transportation of a machine gun in connection with the April 3, 2022 shooting.

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

More than 100 gunshots erupted around 2 a.m. in the downtown entertainment district near the Capitol building as bar patrons filled the streets at closing time. Witness footage posted on social media shows rapid gunfire lasting at least 45 seconds as people screamed in terror and fled from the bullets.


In the shooting, three women and three men were fatally shot and 12 other people, including the two alleged shooters, were injured. Police said at least five gunmen were involved in the shooting.

Investigative police place evidence markers on 10th Street at the scene of the 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 at a hospital with gunshot wounds and later charged.

Martin’s brother, Dandrae Martin, then 26, was also arrested as a suspect on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. As a result of the shooting, he received minor wounds.


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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.