Santa Monica police have arrested four suspects in connection with the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Santa Monica man near Virginia Avenue Park Tuesday night, November 3rd.

A group of four people was at the Pico Neighborhood park at 8:52 p.m. when two suspects walked toward them from Pico Boulevard and allegedly began shooting, Santa Monica police Sgt. Dave Hunscke said.

Three of the four individuals ran and were able to avoid being struck by gunfire, but the fourth person received a fatal gunshot wound, Hunscke said. Santa Monica Fire Department paramedics were called to the scene, but the victim, identified as Richard Juarez, was pronounced dead upon their arrival, Hunscke said.

A police sergeant was driving in the area of the 2100 block of Pico Boulevard when he heard the shots and saw two possible suspects running from the park area, toward a vehicle occupied by two other men, police said.

The sergeant drove behind the vehicle and the two suspects on foot continued running south onto 22nd Street and out of sight. Officers detained the vehicle’s occupants and set up a perimeter to locate the other two suspects that fled on foot, police said.

One of the suspects was found hiding under a van to the rear of a residence during a K9 unit search, while K9 and SWAT officers located the second suspect hiding in the rear yard of a vacant home, Hunscke said.

The four suspects were taken into custody and booked at the Santa Monica Police Department.

The investigation is ongoing.

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