Two Arrested for Deadly Park Shooting in Natomas


Murder suspects Kelly Thomas (left) and Orlando Rhinehart (right) are in policy custody. / Photos: SacPD

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Sacramento Police have arrested two men in connection with a deadly shooting which took place during a child’s birthday party in May.

Kelly Thomas, 22, and Orlando Rhinehart, 28, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, Chief Sam Somers Jr. announced this afternoon during a press conference held at Sacramento Police Headquarters. According to a police press release, additional arrests are anticipated.

“This incident is a very active and ongoing investigation,” Somers said. “There is at least one additional suspect, or more, involved.”

On May 10, shortly after 5 p.m. police officers responded to a report of shots fired at Peregrine Park on Guadalajara Way in Natomas.

When officers arrived on the scene they confirmed several people, including a 7-year-old girl who recovered from her injuries, had been struck by gunfire.

Investigators determined that two armed gunman approached the gathering, targeted a group of adult males attending the party, and fired several shots towards the men.

One of the shooting victims – Jacoby James, 29 – was pronounced dead at the scene.

Somers said the shooting was a gang-related retaliation incident, involving narcotics. Evidence shows both parties fired shots during the incident, he said.

On May 15 police released a surveillance photograph of the shooting suspects’ vehicle. Police said the photos were critical in locating the suspects.

Thomas was found and arrested in New York City on Friday, August 15. Rinehart was arrested today, August 19 in Sacramento in the area of San Juan and Truxel. The gold Ford Taurus vehicle used by the suspects in the city of Manteca.

Police credited law enforcement agencies in Nevada and Arizona with helping their investigation. Additional details about the case were not available due to the ongoing investigation, they said.

“If you come to Sacramento with a history of gang related violence, prepare for your last crime because we will catch you,” said Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, who represent Natomas on the Sacramento city council.

Both Thomas and Rhinehart have been booked in the Sacramento County Jail on charges of murder and attempted murder. They are scheduled to be arraigned on August 21.

The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information pertaining to this crime to contact the dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or 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.


Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers Jr. and Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby at today’s press conference. / Photo: S. Rekhi


  1. […] Two other suspects were previously arrested. […]

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