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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mourners attack news crew after fatal shooting outside IHOP

     

    Angry mourners attacked two members of a television news crew Sunday at a curbside memorial for the victim of a fatal shooting in Natomas.

    Both the homicide and the attack occurred outside the International House of Pancakes restaurant in the 2900 block of Advantage Lane, near Interstate 5 and Del Paso Road.

    At about 2:40 a.m.Sacramento police officers responded to a shooting at the all-night restaurant. Homicide detectives believe two groups got into an argument inside. The fight escalated outdoors and ended in gunfire, police spokeswoman Laura Peck said.

    Responding officers found one man lying dead on the pavement, she said.

    Police described the suspects as men in their 20s, but could not describe their clothing or vehicles.

    Peck said there were numerous people at the restaurant who might have seen the attackers, but few had assisted in the investigation. “”There were plenty of people there,”” she said. “”Someone should come forward.””

    By Sunday afternoon, a small memorial of balloons, candy hearts and candles had appeared at the restaurant.

    A crowd of mourners gathered.

    Journalists arrived to record the impromptu event.

    About 3:45 p.m., a Sacramento Bee photographer was threatened and chased by members of an angry mob who mistakenly believed she was recording it on her cell phone. She ran to her car, where people surrounded her, screaming and pounding on her windows. She escaped unharmed but shaken.

    Soon afterward, Fox40 reporter John Lobertini and photojournalist Rebecca Little – unaware of prior events — approached the memorial and a handful of mourners gathered there. Within moments, a dozen people ran from an adjacent parking lot and charged the journalists, screaming obscenities.

    One woman grabbed Little’s hair and pulled her to the ground. Another kicked her in the face. At least one man punched Lobertini as he attempted to protect Little.

    Other mourners tried to stop the attack, but later insisted it was the journalists’ fault for intruding on a private event.

    Afterward, Little and Lobertini looked stunned, their faces marked with red abrasions and swelling. Little said she was merely trying to do her job by covering the gathering on a public sidewalk. She said she had meant no disrespect to the mourners.

    “”My motive was to shoot the memorial, not to get in their faces,”” she said.

    Police soon arrived, but by then the assailants had fled. The incident was recorded by multiple news crews, the attackers caught on videotape. Officers viewed the tapes, interviewed the victims and said they would refer the case to detectives.

    No arrests were made.

    After the incident, the memorial was abandoned, an empty cognac bottle left by the flowers. A note scrawled on the pavement said “”RIP CJ.””

    A few mourners continued to arrive.

    By Sunday evening, coroners had not identified the murder victim. Dai Hodge and others said the man was their friend Chester Jackson, 27, who attended Natomas High Schooland had two children.

    Hodge, who brought along her 3-year-old daughter, said Jackson was a good man who “”took care of his family.””

    She called his death “”senseless.””

    “”He was just cool. He didn’t deserve to be like this.””

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