Information about a gang shooting outside a Bakersfield bar last fall that killed one man and injured four others came from an unlikely source: one of the alleged shooters.
Through phone calls intercepted by the FBI as part of a sweeping investigation into criminal activity by the Westside Crips, authorities listened as Danny Willis identified himself and Skylor Billings as the shooters in the incident outside Martini's Bar in the early morning of Sept. 23, according to court documents that became available Tuesday.
Willis also allegedly incriminated others in the gang, the reports reveal.
Willis, Billings, Gary Pierson and Gary Clayton are each facing charges of murder and four counts of attempted murder stemming from the shooting that killed Edwin Smith in the parking lot outside Martini's. They're being held without bail.
The documents paint a chaotic scene at 1:40 a.m. outside the bar, as multiple shooters opened fire, sending bullets into bodies, parked vehicles and even a room at the nearby Rodeway Inn & Suites.
Police arrived to find two people lying in the parking lot, one of them the 50-year-old Smith. He'd been hit multiple times, with one bullet entering his skull, the documents say.
The other person in the parking lot was yelling repeatedly for an ambulance.
Two other victims were found after police stopped a 2001 Buick Regal speeding from the direction of the bar, according to the documents. The officers ordered the occupants out of the car — and the driver, his shirt covered in blood, yelled that he had been shot.
The other occupant of the car was also wounded, and both were taken to Kern Medical Center, the documents say. The fifth victim also drove from the scene.
Multiple people were interviewed in the months following the shooting as investigators examined surveillance video taken outside the bar. Some refused to help.
"I didn't see anything, and if I did I wouldn't tell you guys," one person, unidentified in the documents, told police.
Another person, who told police he arrived at the bar alone, said he heard an argument in the parking lot then heard gunfire, the documents say. He said he was struck by a round as he ran. With the exception of Smith, the names of the other shooting victims have not been released by authorities.
Evidence from the wiretapped calls led to the defendants being charged on Dec. 11.
In one of the calls, Willis said he gave the gun he'd used in the shooting to another person to have the barrel changed, according to the documents. In multiple calls, he and other gang members discussed a Bakersfield Police Department news release that featured a surveillance image of the car in which Willis and Clayton departed after the shooting.
During a 10-month, multi-agency investigation targeting the Westside Crips, law enforcement officials used wiretapping, controlled drug purchases and other methods to confirm criminal activity, Phil Talbert, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, said in December. Authorities have arrested upward of 40 people connected to the gang.
The four defendants in the bar shooting are next due in court Feb. 6.