Four shootings in the course of one week prompted Santa Monica Police Chief James T. Butts, Jr. on Sunday to commit “an overwhelming police presence” so that “[t]he cycle of violence that has developed over the last week will not be permitted to continue.” No arrests have been made in any of the four separate incidents, said Lt. Frank Fabrega, the Police Department public information officer, on Tuesday evening, July 11.
The shootings – three in the Pico neighborhood – included two over last weekend. On Sunday, July 9, at 3:07pm, police responded to the rear alley of the 1900 block of Euclid St. regarding a call of shots fired. SMPD reports that preliminary information revealed the victims were seated in a car when the suspects drove next to the victims’ vehicle and fired several shots; no one was injured inside the victims’ vehicle. “The investigation indicates this incident appears to be gang related,” the Police Department’s release stated.
The suspects in Sunday’s shooting are described by the police as two male Hispanics, each 14-16 years of age and wearing a black hat with a white t-shirt; one being 5’6 to 5’10, heavy build, having dark hair, and the other being 5’10, thin build, having dark hair. Police described their vehicle as a late 1980’s to early 1990’s Honda Accord, 2-door, gray in color with a black bumper.
Friday night, July 7, at 8:45pm, a Santa Monica Police Officer was flagged down regarding a shooting that had apparently occurred at Virginia Avenue Park in the 2200 block of Virginia Ave. In that case, SMPD reports that the victim, a male Hispanic juvenile, was shot, and had been taken to a local hospital by private vehicle; he had non-life threatening wounds in the upper torso.
The single suspect in the Friday night shooting is described by police as a male Hispanic, 15 years of age, 5’8, weighing approximately 180 pounds and wearing a white baggy t-shirt and shorts. “Preliminary investigation indicates this incident appears to be gang related; however, the victim does not have any gang affiliation,” said an SMPD release.
The first of the week’s shootings was on Monday, July 3, as reported in last week’s Mirror. Also reported in last week’s paper was on the July 4 holiday at 2:02pm, police received a report of shots fired in the 1900 block of 19th St. in the Pico neighborhood.
Chief Butts said in his July 9 statement, “Effective immediately, the already enhanced patrol in the Pico Neighborhood will again be increased and there will be a more frequent deployment of the police helicopter. The individuals involved in these three incidents [in the Pico area] will be brought to justice.”