Tragic end to 2012: Suspect caught after two killed, three injured in New Year’s Eve shooting in Old Sacramento

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UPDATE – On Friday, January 4, 2013, a male and female associated with Carlito Montoya were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon related to this incident. Amber Scholz-36 is believed to have instigated the altercation and her husband Charles Fowler-Scholz-34, was involved in the physical fight that preceded the deadly shooting. No further details are available at this time.


UPDATE – Suspect identification: According to a Sacramento Police update, the suspect, 22-year-old Carlito Montoya, is in police custody in an area hospital. Montoya is receiving medical treatment for multiple gunshot wounds.


A 22-year-old man wanted in connection with a New Year’s Eve shooting in Old Sacramento that left two people dead and three others with gunshot wounds was apprehended by Sacramento police last night.

The suspect allegedly pulled a gun during a fight inside the Sports Corner Cafe and began firing, hitting a 30-year-old female, a 35-year-old male and an employee in his 20s, according to a police press release. The two male victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died on the scene, while the female victim survived and was taken to a hospital.

The fight had begun as an argument before turning into a physical altercation, which a bar employee attempted to break up. It was not immediately clear from the press release if that was the same employee who was shot. 

– The press release continues:

"An armed security guard that was near a side door heard the gunshots, confronted the suspect inside the bar and the two exchanged gunfire. Both the suspect and the security guard sustained gunshot wounds from their exchange.

The suspect, still armed with the gun ran from the bar toward crowded city streets and was immediately taken into custody by responding police. The suspect and the security guard were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The 22-year-old suspect remains in police custody while being treated at a local hospital. The identity of the suspect is temporarily being withheld while investigation is underway.

The Sacramento Police Department’s Homicide Unit and Crime Scene Investigations Unit responded to investigate. At this time, detectives are actively investigating and contacting all subjects involved in the incident. Two guns were recovered at the scene. No further information is available at this time.

The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information pertaining to this homicide to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000." 

City Councilmember Steve Hansen, who represents Old Sacramento, posted a message about the incident on Facebook Tuesday morning: 

"My heart goes out to the families of the innocent people who lost their lives or were injured last night in Old Sacramento," he wrote."This was a senseless crime. The police appear to have had immediately apprehended the shooter. I am grateful for the prompt response and quick thinking by the police and city staff to keep people calm and safe."

Our previous story:

The New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration in Old Sacramento ended tragically before it had even begun: Someone pulled a gun during a fight inside the Sports Corner Cafe around 9:40 p.m., and now two people are dead three more have been shot, according to police. The midnight display was cancelled.

An eyewitness, who provided her name but asked not to be identified, was walking outside the bar when said she heard several gunshots. She said she ducked under a stairwell, turned, and saw a young man in a white hoodie run outside the door, pull out a handgun, turn it sideway and fire repeatedly into the building before fleeing into the crowd. 

Other witnesses described a chaotic and confusing scene following the shooting. Mike Delpape had just arrived in Old Sacramento when he heard the first round of gunshots. 

"When the shooting started the first time, people kind of just looked at it, like it was part of something that was happening out here," Delpape said. "But when people started running, there was a mad rush of people just running away."

Police spokeswoman Michelle Gigante said the investigation was still preliminary but that it appeared the incident began as a fight and spilled outside. 

Jason Boyd  did not see the shooting occur, but was in a nearby bar when it happen:

A police helicopter circled over Old Sacramento, announcing over a loudspeaker "Old Sacramento is closed, please go back to your vehicles, the midnight fireworks display is cancelled."  

The shooting happen after the 9:30 p.m. fireworks display had ended and a new crowd was beginning to arrive for the midnight show. Witnesses told TV news stations that there were two bursts of gunshots, and that mounted police arrived as panicked bystanders ran down the street and into nearby shops.

The crowd was calm by 10 p.m. Groups of onlookers gathered by the police line tape.

Crime Scene Investigators studied the scene, including bunches of what appeared to be the victim’s clothing, scattered by the boardwalk. 

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  • Lisa Ouellette

    Thanks for the update. But, really? Sacramento, we don’t need this.

  • That’s so horrible. My condolences to the family and friends of those killed and my prayers go out to those who were injured.

  • Start doing fireworks in Raley Field and treat it like a sporting event.

    • R.V. Scheide

      Remember when you could just go to your local nearby park, lay out on the grass, and watch the fireworks?

  • In West Sac by river. 5-4-3-2-1. Nothing.

    Guy nearby says, “It’s off to a great start.”

  • Good reporting on this. Thanks SP.

  • David Jenest

    Excellent coverage Jared and Sac Press staff… better than most in fact. Just ended our watch on the most brutal New Years Eve in my 19 years as director of Crimewatch.Some have questioned why Old Sacramento was shut down and the midnight event cancelled. Here’s my take on that:

    In a situation where you have no suspect in custody and the possibility of additional violence, slim or not, one can only imagine the criticism police and the City of Sacramento would face if they didn’t shut down the area and the later event.

    For those demanding to know who made the decision; I suspect the watch commander, deputy chiefs and chief informed appropriate city charter officers with the recommendation. Fortunately numerous eyewitnesses and clear suspect descriptions may help investigators ID the criminal that brought such a tragic end to 2012.

    SPD officers and reserves, CHP and Air units handled the situation with calm and resolve let alone professionalism. Some late watch officers are still writing their reports.

    • R.V. Scheide

      They had the suspect down on the ground in seconds. I was there, I saw it. They could have easily held the second fireworks show, with no problem, besides the fact that the crime scene had to be taped off so the CSIs can do their work. In a certain sense, by not having the real midnight fireworks show thousands of people showed up for, the terrorists won.

  • From posted at 7:37AM:
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a New Year’s Eve shooting at a bar in the Old Sacramento area that killed two people.
    Authorities say the 22-year-old was among three people wounded Monday evening. His injuries and those to a security guard and a woman are not life threatening.
    Police say it started as an argument inside the bar and escalated. When an employee tried to break it up, he was shot, as were the woman and another man.
    That man and the employee died at the scene.
    Authorities say the armed guard heard the gunshots and got into a gunfight with the suspect and both were wounded.
    Afterward, police canceled the midnight fireworks show that was expected to draw as many as 40,000 people.

    Read more:

    • Jared Goyette

      Thanks. Just woke up. Will update the story now.

  • lmw

    Great, great coverage, Jared! Was at 10th and K and didn’t get the info (that show was cancelled) until 11 pm when we tried to walk through the mall to see fireworks. Could not find any info on why, what, etc, since news was over by the time we walked home. Looked here, though and got the story. Thanks again.

    How chilling- “Young man in white hoodie turns gun sideways and shoots into building” As a moldy-oldy my first thoughts are ‘too much TV and video gaming!’ The age of the shooter says, dumb, young guy.

    • William Burg

      What did you think of the scene at 10th and K? It was lively and energetic but not out of control.

    • lmw

      Yep, it was fun. At 11 starting to get to be too crowded to order a beer, but fun people watching. We had wished more places would’ve been open like Pyramid and Ambrosia (for a change). Even Estelle’s had something going on.

    • R.V. Scheide

      Since they decided to cancel the fireworks, I was forced, literally, by traffic cops, into the maelstrom that is sometimes called the Kay. It reminded me of this time I was trying to get to CBGBs but somehow got lost in Soho, and there were all these mediocre loft clubs with $60 cover charges and crappy music. I never was a clubber, I was a punker, and when this kind of crap started happening in the 1980s in SF, I just rolled my eyes at my friends that think this shit is cool. So go ahead, stand in line at Dive Bar. I’m catching the night train home.

    • William Burg

      lmw: I don’t really get why Pyramid still closes so early–they would definitely benefit from being part of the critical mass taking place on that block of K. Ambrosia tried staying open later for a short while after Dive Bar etc. opened but apparently the experiment didn’t last. Good to hear that Estelle’s was open late! They have slowly been pushing their operating hours back, nice to have an eatery downtown that doesn’t close up shop right after state worker lunch hour.

      RV: It’s not exactly my cup of tea (or tall-boy of Pabst) either, but I ordinarily spend New Year’s Eve at a friend’s studio a block or so from the 1000 block of K, and have for a decade or so. I’ll definitely take K Street in its current state than how it was just a few years ago, when the street was utterly vacant at night, with neither residents or visitors on the street. And just as the yuppies being overcharged in Soho or SF helped drive the entertainment economy of those cities that made CBGB’s and Mabuhay Gardens possible, their presence does have a positive effect on Sacramento’s music scene: a multitude of “mainstream” clubs creates the conditions needed for a healthy musical underground. Admittedly, I’ll probably like it better once there are a couple more live music venues on K Street and thereabouts. And even better than that once there are a lot more residents living alongside K Street, functioning as eyes on the street and complaining to their councilmember when things start getting out of control.

    • R.V. Scheide

      William, the Mabuhay and CBGBs were there first, they didn’t need support from a bunch of phony yuppies. The Kay felt as dead to me on NYE as it always as.

  • Do you know if they shot off the fireworks from the cancelled midnight show around 8:00 am this morning? I live very close to Old Sac and heard what sounded like a fireworks show.

    • Jared Goyette

      RanSACkedMedia has a good post on that.

    • nolongerinsac

      Yes, they did. Don’t know why they didn’t wait until tonight, but yep, they shot them off this morning.

    • Ryan Schauland (f.k.a. ryuns)

      They said it was “too expensive” to wait until later, but that they were all rigged and needed to go off. I’m no pyrotechnician, so I assume that was a legitimate reason. They said that waiting until a little later, once the investigation had made more progress, was an option but that 3 am fireworks would probably annoy everyone a good bit. I think there were a couple of better options: waiting until the night of the 1st (which they said was too expensive) or just firing them at midnight as planned (which SacPD was against). It woke me up early enough that I experienced one of those annoying delayed hangovers that doesn’t hit until a few hours after waking up.

  • nolongerinsac

    Sad news, but why is anyone surprised? Events in Sacramento like NYE, Second Saturday, or even just weekends in midtown are overrun with gangbangers because they know there is insufficient police presence. Face it, Downtown/Midtown Sacramento are no longer safe. And as more people realize this it will get worse and worse because the people that can afford to will move to Roseville and Folsom. The midtown resurgence is dead.

    • Ryan Schauland (f.k.a. ryuns)

      What a ridiculous comment.

    • William Burg

      Perhaps the resurgence of downtown/midtown Sacramento should be based around making it a place to live instead of solely a place to party?

    • lmw

      There *are* gated communities for those that are paranoid. And downtowns that can (hopefully) be shaped and molded by the people that want to be there.

    • Maverick

      Yeah, newguyinsac, I gotta say a lack of police presence is not the problem. Anyone downtown on a Friday/Saturday night will tell you there are a ton of cops downtown/midtown everywhere. My concern has been that there is such a huge police presence, just the night time weekend law enforcement budget alone would seem enough to fiscally cripple Sac. There’s a SacPD unit staged at nearly every significant bar/club not to mention bike units patrolling, mounted units, a large amount of DUI units, not to mention the ABC cops, and large constituency of CHP units in the area. Lack of police is definitely not the issue in my opinion.

    • I hope you enjoy Folsom or Roseville once you can afford it

  • This is aweful. This is the same type of sensless murders that are happening so frequently in Chico Ca just nortth of Sacramento. Chico is really bad now and it breaks my heart to see so much violence.

    • lmw

      I moved here from Santa Cruz (pretty small community), where stabbings and shootings are the norm, all year round. For events, when a bunch of out-of-towners take over, they beef up security and I believe enlist help from other cities, if possible. Violence happens all over the state, and all over the country. Especially where budgets have been cut. I don’t know how to express my feelings about this- on one hand violence is part of our lives these days, on the other- I wish we could fix it! On top of all else, we can’t hide in our houses to avoid it. At least I can’t.

  • Seriously people? Typos? ‘stuided the scene’

    I am outraged!

    • Jared Goyette

      Fixed, thanks.

  • Ryan Schauland (f.k.a. ryuns)

    Thanks for the coverage Jared and crew. This is tragic and horribly depressing…one a**hole makes a whole community question their love for where they live. Here’s to a positive 2013.

  • happens all over. senseless young adults. guns should be outlawed and people are stupid. fights start over nothing and shoots are fired. When are people going to wake up. no one should have to go through this.

  • Bobbi Mercouri

    thanks for the coverage and photos. With the Bee charging now to access their web site, this is my new “go to” for local news.

  • Elaine Johnson

    Very spot on, Jared. Unfortunately “partying” seems to be the only reliable source of financial support for the most recent downtown renewal, so I doubt we’ll see less of it. What I would like to see, as another person commented, is family events staged at more containable venues, such as Raley Field or Cal Expo.

    • Dale Kooyman

      Actually studies show that “partying” really costs a city more than it nets “in financial support”. Since the “party” scene began, residents have repeatedly asked for a similar cost benefit study here but neither past council members or city management have been willing to conduct one.

  • 1+1=2.
    Guns + Idiots = Deaths
    Make All Guns Illegal NOW!!!
    Make America safer and more sane.
    Stop the NRA, it is a criminal organization.

    • William Burg

      Apparently making idiots illegal is not an option?

    • Sort of like how making drugs illegal solved that problem.

    • bye bye Sacpress

      I would love to see some follow up reporting on these murders, as well as the many other senseless tragedies in our area (Rhonda Irwin does a great service by consistently reminding of the violence that continually happens off the grid).

      Was the shooter a gang member? What was his criminal history, if any? Education level? Was the_gun registered to him, how did he obtain it? Are his fingerprints on file with city of Sacramento for ammo purchases? Data driven responses make sense, but we never see the data. Banning the NRA makes as much sense as banning hoodies.

    • Doug Tarpin

      It’s a little late for gun control in this country. If only the bad guys have them, how can one protect himself and his family? Jesus? Allah? Fists? I’m going to go get a gun where I used to eat breakfast on J street. It’s a sign of the times we are living in. Great reporting Jared and staff…

    • Shooting people is already illegal. Carrying a conceled weapon is already illegal. Maybe making it triple or quadruple or five-ple or six-ple illegal would stop it.

  • I knew something was really wrong when I heard the fireworks launched at 8am today. Some way for city to wake up!! Such a senseless tragedy for the victims and families. Too bad as well that the rockets had to go to waste as well. Seems like could have done early evening today.

  • R.V. Scheide

    I was waiting in line at 10-22 when the shooting started about 50 yards away, at the corner sports bar. A hundred people came barreling down the boardwalk toward us, trying to get away from the shots. I ran toward the shooting, there were definitely two different gunshots, you could hear the difference. The cops were incredibly fast. By the time I got to the scene, the shooting was over and they were stringing up the yellow tape telling everybody to get back. It was literally over in three minutes. The suspect was wearing a white jacket and was wounded, laying on the ground by a cop car. They they put him in the back and took him away. I was disappointed that they canceled the fireworks, the cops had secured the scene in plenty of time to have the second show. I suppose the coroner still had some work to do, though. I didn’t feel frightened by this event, I thought the cops did an excellent job, and I’ll go back to Old Sac anytime I feel like it, which frankly ain’t that often.

    • Allison Joy

      Comment has been removed due to violation of our Terms of Use.

  • Jared & Staff at Sacramento Press, thank you for keeping us well informed with the facts!

    My sympathy is for the family & friends of the two murdered men.

    It seems so obvious, but nobody has mentioned nor questioned, why the armed security guard shot at a suspect in a crowded establishment? What did he do to try and break-up the situation before using his gun? The police press release (per Sacramento Press) indicates the armed guard confronted the suspect in the bar after the first gunshots were heard. Where was the security guard before the first shots were fired? What was he doing?
    Is the security guard an off-duty police officer, sheriff or was he hired from a private firm? Who hired the armed security guard? In that type of situation, is using deadly force protocol for police officers or the sheriff? If the Sports Cafe hired the armed guard, why wasn’t he aware of the argument that escalated into a physical fight? We know of only one employee that tried to stop the fight, where were other employees such as bouncers, manager, etc.?
    There might be answers, or we may never know the answers, but there are still plenty of questions.

  • As a Sacramento native, seeing this happen in Old Sacramento makes my heart hurt!
    My momma lives in Downtown Sacramento and in response to new guy in sac, Roseville and Folsom are not any safer then most areas in Sacramento with the exception being South Sacramento, some areas in West Sacramento & the Northgate areas. I have lived in Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Orangevale and now live past Folsom in Placerville and the sad, hard reality is in this day & age, it can happen ANYWHERE in our beloved Sacramento! None of us are immune to tragedy- welcome to the year 2013 and my sincere prayers go out to the families whom lost a loved one.

  • Srange the “suspect”‘s name is not mentioned. Thank goodness there was armed security to keep the death toll down. He needs a little more time on the range though if hoodie got loose.

  • will

    First and foremost, a reiteration of the prayers and condolences for the families of the victims. Secondly, I think this incident anecdotally disproves my son’s contention (and that of his NRA brethren) that if everyone was packing, crime and/or collateral damage would be reduced. The armed security guard is the ‘everyman’ that the NRA contends will ‘fix things’ vis a vis gun usage/proliferation. He was on the scene, drew his gun, actually hit the perp. The perp ran out into a crowded street and would have shot who knows how many more if not for the fortuitous arrival of the Sac PD. Armed bystander, even when a ‘professional,’ does not guarantee a squelched gun threat.


    Tuesday Night ~
    Tweet > Tragic end to 2012: Suspect caught after 2 killed, 3 injured in New Year’s Eve shooting… via @sacramentopress

    I live in Central Downtown. Heard leftover Fireworks in the day this morning and I thought the noise was odd as it was already daytime. Thought of the Middle East. Then I heart about the killings after I went to the K Street Mini-Mart. So, so sad for many.

    Insanity is runnng amuk around us in our insane psychotic society. What is normal? If all this sickness is normal and we are gettng numbed out about us, then, I would rather be abnormal.

    I am already a crazy Chicano ;-> Peter S. Lopez AKA @Peta_de_Aztlan c/s

  • Old Sac used to be the palce to be, then Thursday Nights on K Street, then Second Saturday. Shoot, anything that is good finds a way to be bad when invaded by hood rats. Sick of it.

  • Kati Garner


  • R.V. Scheide

    Freaky …. !


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