Los Angeles police are encouraging anyone to come forward who may have information on a drive-by shooting last month that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Venice man and wounded one of his friends.
Friends and family members of Michael McGuire joined police at the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Station in Del Rey for a news conference Tuesday, June 29th to request the public’s help in providing any information that could lead to the arrest of suspects in the June 13th fatal shooting.
McGuire and a group of friends had attempted to attend an invitation-only after-prom party for Venice High School students in the 2400 block of Louella Street, south of Venice Boulevard, but they were turned away after arriving relatively late, said Capt. Jon Peters, Pacific Station commanding officer.
Shortly before 2 a.m., McGuire and an 18-year-old friend were heading back toward their vehicle and were standing on the sidewalk when at least two suspects pulled up in a dark-colored SUV, police said. The suspects allegedly fired several shots, striking both victims, and the vehicle immediately drove away from the scene.
Both victims were transported for treatment to a local hospital, where McGuire, who was shot in the head, was pronounced dead the following day, police said. The 18-year-old was treated for a graze wound to the head and released.
It was unclear if any words were exchanged between the suspects and victims, and Peters said police have no indication that the victims were targeted.
Police believe there is a probability that the incident was gang-related due to the “drive-by nature,” but the motive has not been confirmed, Peters said. He added that there is no evidence suggesting that the victims were affiliated with gangs.
Michael McGuire, Sr., father of the slain 21-year-old, made a point at the conference to stress that his son never had any connection with gangs.
“First, I want it to be known that in no way, shape or form was my kid involved in any type of gang activity,” said McGuire, Sr., adding that he wants those responsible for his son’s death to be brought to justice.
“My son didn’t deserve to go out like this.”
Peters described McGuire as a “neighborhood kid” who grew up in the Venice community and attended Beethoven Elementary, Mark Twain Middle and Venice High schools.
“This is truly a tragedy. We’re working very hard to solve this crime and we appreciate any help with that,” the captain said.
Peters explained that there were a number of people on the street with other parties taking place in the area at the time of the shooting, and LAPD Pacific detectives believe there could be many witnesses who may have information on the vehicle or suspects, described only as Hispanic men.
“We know that there were a lot of people out on the street that night and there is a lot of potential for possible witnesses in this case,” Peters said when asking for the public’s assistance.
Friends and family members remembered McGuire as a well-loved, kind young man who had a passion for sports and enjoyed surfing.
“He was a remarkable young man and he touched a lot of hearts,” his father said. “(Michael) was hard working and quite an athlete; he was a tough, strong kid who loved football, baseball and the ocean.”
Krista Redick, a friend of McGuire’s, recalled how he cheered her on during her high school softball games and called him the “kindest person I’ve ever known.”
“It’s senseless and heartless,” she said of the shooting that claimed her friend’s life. “He did nothing to deserve this.”
Another family friend, Michael Riggins, who knew McGuire all his life, pointed out his friendly nature and said he was particularly good with children.
“He was a terrific kid; that’s what’s so senseless about (the shooting,” Riggins said.
As a tribute to McGuire’s love of surfing, friends and family are planning to hold a “paddle-out” ceremony in his memory Saturday morning, July 10th near the Venice Pier.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact LAPD Pacific homicide detectives at (310) 482-6370, or (877) 527-3247 (877) LAPD 24-7 during non-business hours and on weekends. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at (800) 222-8477.