Sacramento gang violence takes a deadlier turn

By Kim Minugh
Published: Sunday, Feb. 01, 2009 | The Sacramento Bee | Page 1B

Eyes closed, Trish O’Connor imagines her son’s killing.

The nightmarish scenario always ends with Patrick Razaghzadeh’s body lying in the mud, soaked by the early morning rain, still dressed in the Oakland A’s baseball uniform he wore to his fatal Halloween party.

At the age of 24, Razaghzadeh became the fourth Sacramento County homicide statistic in the last 18 months that detectives attribute to two small but violent North Highlands gangs with overlapping membership.

Detectives allege those two gangs – known as Monk Mobb and TNA – are responsible for a dozen or more shootings and in excess of 70 robberies in 2008. The violent crimes come in addition to typical gang activity, which includes drug dealing and prostitution, according to investigators.

For Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives who have investigated three of the four homicides, Razaghzadeh’s death marked an alarming escalation in the violence. A working student with no criminal history or gang ties, Razaghzadeh was killed after gang members crashed a Halloween party he was hosting for friends and fellow students.

Now detectives are issuing a warning to the public, and seeking help in putting an end to what they describe as the gangs’ mayhem.

“They have no regard for human life,” said sheriff’s homicide Detective Tom McCue.

Gang rivalries blamed

In three of the four killings – those that occurred in the sheriff’s jurisdiction – detectives say they have found commonalities: An argument breaks out at a house party, a group of men pull up their hoods, and gunfire pierces the air.

On July 28, 2007, 30-year-old Arcelius Lee was shot to death at a Foothill Farms house party. Lee, who had an 11-year-old daughter, attended the party at the invitation of a cousin. The party was populated by Crips. Lee’s cousin was a member of the rival Bloods, according to detectives.

Nineteen-year-old Bobby Dorsey, who detectives say was a Monk Mobb member, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a gun enhancement in connection with Lee’s death.

On Dec. 9, 2007, Manuel Castillo was shot and killed at the age of 20. He had been at an apartment party near American River College that spilled into a parking lot.

Detectives say Castillo was not a gang member but gang members were present at the party. No one has been arrested in the case, although detectives suspect the triggerman was a member of Monk Mobb.

In April last year, Perry Steele, 27, was shot at a Del Paso Heights gas station. He died a month later.

Doshmen Jamaal Johnson, 18, is on trial in Steele’s murder. City police detectives allege Johnson is a member of TNA and that he sought to kill Steele – a rival Del Paso Heights Blood – on the victim’s turf to bring glory to his gang, according to testimony in court transcripts.

Sheriff’s detectives say the Monk Mobb struck again Nov. 1, when Razaghzadeh was fatally shot during a Halloween party at his house on Rogue River Drive.

One of Razaghzadeh’s friends, Kyle Campkelly, 24, was headed to the party and told a cousin to meet him. That cousin is a leader in Monk Mobb, detectives allege, and brought along members of the gang.

Detectives have not identified the gunman, but suspect it was a Monk Mobb member. Five people, including Campkelly, were shot in the spray of gunfire that morning. All but Razaghzadeh survived.

One of the bullets that hit Campkelly remains lodged in his spine. Interviewed this month in his West Sacramento home, Campkelly said he had no idea of his cousin’s possible gang affiliation. He said his cousin has denied involvement in the shooting, and Campkelly believes him.

“Some people think that (because) he’s my cousin, if he and his friends are held responsible, it’s kind of like my fault,” said Campkelly, who wears a black mourning bracelet in honor of his friend. “I’m not that kind of person. … I got shot, too. They shot to kill him, and they tried to kill me.”

Gangs’ dealings complex

Understanding the relationship between TNA and Monk Mobb, and their place in the greater order of Sacramento-area gangs, is difficult. Detectives differ on exactly where the lines are drawn.

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