Shooter fired toward a crowd near Rose Avenue but likely had a specific victim in mind, police say

By Gary Walker

The gunman who sent a hail of bullets flying toward a crowded area of the Venice Boardwalk on Friday night appears to have had a specific target in mind, according to an LAPD detective investigating the shooting.

The unidentified suspect fired a handgun multiple times at 9:22 p.m. on April 7 along the 300 block of Ocean Front Walk, between Rose and Dudley avenues.

Although the shooter’s motive remains undetermined, the LAPD Pacific Division’s Gang Unit is investigating the crime.

Initial news reports had witnesses claiming that the shooter, who remains at large, fired indiscriminately into the crowd on the boardwalk.

“From my preliminary investigation it does not appear that [the gunman] was shooting into the crowd. It looks like the [victim] was shot at,” LAPD Pacific Division Gang Unit Det. Melvin Campos said. “As of now, I don’t know what the motive is.”

The victim suffered four gunshot wounds but remains in stable condition at a local hospital, LAPD Det. Robyn Salazar said.

Campos said he has interviewed the victim but was not able to get much information about the possible motive.

“As of right now, we don’t know if it is gang motivated. I’m looking at pulling [boardwalk surveillance] videos, and maybe that will give me an idea of what took place,” Campos said.

Although gang activity is on the decline from previous years, there have been isolated outbreaks of violence in Venice that police suspect are gang-related.

Gregory Wherry, who police say is a member of the Venice Shoreline Crips gang, was arrested last month in connection with the fatal daytime shooting of construction worker Marvin Ponce on Aug. 3 at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Brooks Court in Venice’s Oakwood neighborhood.

Anyone with information about the April 7 shooting is asked to call Det. Campos at (310) 482-6402 or email him at 334963@lapd.online.

gary@argonautnews.com