Three Santa Monica students, one of whom was shot, are being “very uncooperative” when it comes to supplying details to Santa Monica Police Department investigators. In fact, the only details known about the shooter – that this person drove a white American sedan – came from witnesses, not the victims themselves.
On Oct 19 at approximately 6:35 p.m., the three Hispanic Santa Monica students were on the corner of Seventh Street and Ozone Avenue when this white sedan pulled up to them. Words were exchanged and then, for one reason or another, the three standing Santa Monica boys began hurling small pumpkins at the vehicle. In response, this unidentified assailant countered with gunfire. Police attributed the shots as coming from the driver, as witnesses were unable to corroborate more suspects. One 15 year-old victim was shot in the hip in what Sgt. Jay Trisler described as a non-life threatening wound and was released from the hospital later that evening.
Follow the shooting, the vehicle sped off and the wounded victim was carried by his two 16-year-old fellow victims to the nearest pay phone on Seventh Street and Marine Street where they promptly called for emergency medical assistance.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent, Tim Cuneo, confirmed in an e-mail to parents that the three victims were students in the district.
“When an incident of this kind occurs in our community, it is important that we increase adult supervision,” Cuneo said in his e-mail. “Along with additional supervision by school staff, SMPD will strengthen their campus presence during lunch and after school. Staff is on alert and will immediately report any suspicious behavior, advisors, and counselors are available to provide counseling support as needed and district and school staff are in frequent contact with SMPD.”
As the victims have been less-than forthcoming on the details and with no description of the shooter, SMPD cannot classify the incident as gang-related, although reading between the lines it is apparent that it is more-than likely to be so.
Without much help from the victims, the police investigation is dependent on more witnesses coming forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Hee Seok Ahn at 310.458.8452 or Sergeant Robert Almada at 310.458.8486 or, the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at 310. 458.8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1.800.78.CRIME 1.800.
782.7463, or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.00, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling 800.222.TIPS, texting from your mobile, or by visiting their website at lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000.00 reward by Crime Stoppers.