(KTXL) — Seventeen felony arrests were made in connection with two mass shootings at Sikh temples, one in Stockton and another in Sacramento, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said.
The Attorney General’s office said the arrests resulted from “a months-long, multiagency investigation of rival criminal syndicates operating throughout Northern California.”
According to the Attorney General, members of those groups are alleged to have been involved in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Stockton on August 27, 2022 and a shooting at a Sikh temple just outside Sacramento late last month.
In addition to those shootings, the Attorney General’s Office said the groups were connected to violent crimes dating back to at least 2018 including five attempted murders in Sutter, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo, and Merced counties.
The Attorney General’s Office said the investigation resulted in 41 firearms being seized and that two other shootings were prevented, including a potential shooting at a parade in Sacramento in March.
At a press conference about the arrests, Sutter County District Attorney Jennifer Dupré said the two rival groups formed from an earlier single group.
According to Dupré, victims in both temple shootings were all members of the groups.
Asked about what types of activities the groups participate in, Dupré said though some narcotics had been found during the investigation she was unsure of the amount and that the groups “mainly… show up at places and try to shoot each other.”
According to Dupré, two of the people arrested are mafia members who are “wanted on a number of murders” in India.
“Today, California is safer thanks to collaboration, determination, and swift action by DOJ agents and our law enforcement partners in Sutter County,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “No family should ever have to worry about drive-by shootings or other forms of gun violence in the neighborhoods where their children live and play.”
According to the Attorney General’s Office, at least 20 agencies including the California Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and several local agencies participated in the investigation.
Dupré said the investigation involved “probably at least 500 law enforcement officers.”