New York, April 18: Law enforcement officials in Northern California have arrested 17 Sikh men from rival criminal syndicates for their alleged involvement in mass shootings across the region, including at Sikh temples in Stockton and Sacramento. The shootings occurred between 2022 and 2023 and resulted in the injury of 11 people.
In a joint effort, law enforcement officials seized 41 firearms from the suspects responsible for multiple violent crimes and shootings, including five attempted murders in six different counties: Sutter, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo, and Merced.
On Monday, agents executed search warrants at 20 locations, culminating in a large-scale operation led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Yuba City Police Chief Brian Baker, and Sutter County District Attorney Jennifer Dupre.
According to Dupre, two syndicates, made up mostly of members of the local Sikh community, were responsible for the shootings. The feud between the groups was reportedly fueled by intense personal connections.
The suspects who were arrested for felony charges include Karandeep Singh, Pardeep Singh, Pavittar Singh, Husandeep Singh, Sahajpreet Singh, Harkirat Singh, Tirath Ram, Dharamvir Singh, Jobanjit Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Nitish Kaushal, Gurminder Singh Kang, Devender Singh, Karambir Gill, Rajeev Ranjan, Jobanpreet Singh, and Singh Dhesi.
Police are still searching for Amandeep Singh, Harmandeep Singh, Gursharn Singh, Grucharan Singh, and Jaskaran Singh, who have yet to be arrested.
During the investigation, which began in February 2023, law enforcement officials were able to prevent two additional shootings from occurring.
Attorney General Rob Bonta emphasized the importance of removing guns from the streets and putting suspected gang members and their associates behind bars. "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," Bonta said in a press release.
The arrests have shocked the Sikh community in Northern California, which has a history of violence among rival groups. The community leaders have called for unity and peace among Sikhs and for the law enforcement agencies to take measures to prevent such incidents in the future.