Homicide heat check

16 days in June bring four murders to Sacramento

It’s a bleak truism in Sacramento: As the weather heats up, so does the pace of murders.

City detectives have responded to four homicides through the first half of June, after three homicides in all of May, one in April, two in March and one apiece in February and January.

Altogether that makes a dozen slayings inside the capital city, a third of which occurred in a 16-day span. (Two separate death investigations—one in March, one in April—have yet to be classified as homicides, which is when someone dies at the hands of another.)

The Sacramento Police Department investigated 36 homicides last year, which represents a 16% decrease since 2015, when there were 43.

On June 15, police responded to two shooting deaths in less than an hour. Just before 10:30 p.m. that Saturday, a man was shot multiple times in the Avondale neighborhood of southeastern Sacramento, while, 55 minutes later and roughly eight miles to the north near Arden Fair, officers found two male gunshot victims, one of whom died at a hospital.

“We can sometimes see an increase in crime when the weather is warmer, due to people staying out later and enjoying the warmer months,” police spokesman Officer Marcus Basquez said in an emailed statement.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office was withholding the victims’ names pending autopsies and fingerprinting, said Coroner Kimberly Gin.

Police released few additional details. Anonymous tips can be texted for free using the “P3 Tips” smartphone app. Witnesses can also call anonymous tips to the dispatch center at (916) 808-5471 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP (4357) and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.