After two fatal gang-related shootings hit the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Pacific area less than a week apart, police and city officials are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspects involved.
Braylon Williams, 22, was shot to death Tuesday afternoon, September 23rd, while he was walking in an alley in the 4800 block of Marionwood Drive, near the Mar Vista Gardens housing project in Del Rey, police said.
Five days later, Los Angeles resident Adam Pacheco, 31, was fatally shot following the popular Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice while he was standing on the sidewalk outside the Otheroom bar in the 1400 block of Abbot Kinney Boulevard, police said. A 55-year-old Los Angeles woman who was struck in the face by a bullet that apparently ricocheted in the shooting has been released from a local hospital, police said.
LAPD Pacific Captain Joseph Hiltner said police believe the two shooting deaths are gang-related, as Williams and Pacheco were alleged gang members, but he noted that the two incidents are not related.
In response to public concerns that gang crimes are escalating in the LAPD Pacific area, Hiltner affirmed that the second shooting was not in retaliation for the incident at Mar Vista Gardens.
LAPD Pacific officials, along with City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, held a news conference outside the police station in Del Rey Tuesday, September 30th, to ask for the public’s assistance in the investigation as well as to dispel any rumors that have surfaced regarding the recent crimes.
“We’re looking for the public’s support in trying to solve these crimes,” Hiltner, the LAPD Pacific commanding officer, said at the conference.
Police are continuing to search for the shooters in both crimes.
In the Mar Vista Gardens incident, the suspect approached Williams from behind in the alley and allegedly fired several shots at him. The suspect fled eastbound between the buildings and was last seen running southbound along the flood control fence. Police said the suspect, who is a possible gang member, is described as a Hispanic man, 18 to 20 years old, of medium height and build and wearing a black sweatshirt.
The suspect in the Abbot Kinney shooting allegedly walked up to Pacheco and shot him multiple times before fleeing on foot. Hiltner said the suspect then got into a white Dodge Durango that was last seen traveling south on Electric Avenue.
Pacheco was taken to a local hospital, where he later died of his injuries. LAPD Detective Mike DePasquale said the 55-year-old woman was walking by on the street at the time of the shooting and was struck by a ricocheting bullet. The woman had reportedly attended the festival prior to the incident, he said.
Police and community officials noted that many residents were shocked by the Venice shooting, as thousands of visitors had come to the area for the Abbot Kinney Street Festival, which ended only a few hours before the shooting. Officials were quick to point out that the crime had no relation to the festival.
“It had nothing to do with the Abbot Kinney Festival,” Venice Neighborhood Council president Mike Newhouse said of the incident. “We need to emphasize that Venice is a very safe place, by and large, in the city.”
The Venice Neighborhood Council Safety Committee plans to address the incident with the cooperation of the LAPD, he said.
Rosendahl said that while his 11th District experiences fewer gang crimes than other parts of the city, the local communities are also affected by the issue and officials are continuing to seek proper funding for gang intervention programs.
“We’re all connected in this city,” the councilman said. “We are impacted in the 11th District as well.”
Anyone with additional information regarding these incidents is asked to contact LAPD Pacific homicide detectives at (310) 482-6316, or (877) 529-3855 (877-LAWFULL) on weekends or after hours.