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Suspect charged with carrying gun after Sacramento mass shooting denies involvement

Sacramento Bee - 4/7/2022

Apr. 7—A man Sacramento police arrested after allegedly being seen carrying a handgun following Sunday morning's gang-related shooting downtown was formally charged Wednesday with a felony count of illegally possessing a firearm.

Daviyon Dawson, 31, who was arrested Monday and bailed out of the Sacramento County Main Jail on a $500,000 bond Tuesday, faces a felony count of illegally possessing a .40-caliber Glock 27 handgun, court documents say.

"At this time, Dawson is not charged with crimes directly related to the shootings," police said Tuesday. "Based on the type of firearm recovered, detectives do not believe that this gun was used in the shooting. Detectives are continuing to investigate this crime and identify additional suspects."

Dawson, who made his first court appearance Wednesday, told The Sacramento Bee that he had nothing to do with the incidents that occurred at 10th and K streets that left six dead and 12 wounded.

"I'm not a suspect in this case," Dawson said. "My name should be nowhere near that case anymore. My name shouldn't be involved. I'm getting death threats."

Dawson would not discuss whether he was carrying a weapon or what he was doing in the area, referring questions to Berkeley attorney Colin Cooper. Cooper said he has not been retained by Dawson and could not comment.

The criminal complaint filed Wednesday says Dawson has a prior 2016 conviction in Sacramento for "street terrorism," and court documents say he was charged in 2014 with the Halloween assault on a man as a member of the Starz street gang.

He also was charged with being a street gang member who "engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity and did willfully promote, further and assist in felony criminal conduct by said gang members," court documents say.

Dawson, whose first name is spelled in different variations in court filings, also has a conviction in Placer County for possession of heroin for sale and possession of a firearm by a felon, court documents say.

Dawson pleaded no contest in a Nov. 6, 2018, court hearing in which he was told he would receive a six-year sentence.

During that hearing, Placer Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Penney reminded Dawson that he could no longer possess firearms, court documents say.

"Because you're pleading to felonies, you will continue to be prohibited from owning, purchasing, receiving, possessing or controlling a firearm, ammunition and ammunition-feeding devices for the rest of your life," the judge told him. "Do you understand that?"

"Yes, sir," Dawson replied.

Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire said in an interview that Dawson already had credit for about a year and a half in custody at the time of sentencing, and that Dawson was released before serving a full six years, which is routine with state prison sentences because of good-conduct credits.

"The general public is aware by and large that people get some discount on their sentences," Gire said. "But I don't think the public is aware of how much credit the Department of Corrections is giving out."

Corrections regulations on good-conduct credits are the subject of a lawsuit filed last year by 44 district attorneys.

Sacramento police announced earlier Wednesday that the shooting was gang-related and appeared to be between two groups downtown around 2 a.m. Police said there may be at least five shooters being sought and that more than 100 shell casings were found at the scene.

No one has been charged in the shootings, but two brothers — Dandrae and Smiley Martin — have been charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.


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