By Joe Piasecki
A private security guard was found shot to death early Monday morning at the recently opened Shores apartment complex in Marina del Rey, leaving residents shocked and saddened.
The victim, described by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators as a black man in his 40s, worked at the building as part of a 24-hour “courtesy patrol” unit, a Shores representative said. His name was still being withheld at press time.
Sheriff’s deputies discovered the victim, believed to have been unarmed, at around 3 a.m. in the front parking lot of the complex at 4201 Via Marina, according to law enforcement officials, who provided few immediate details about the investigation.
Deputies cordoned off the area in front of the upscale apartment complex well into Monday afternoon as crime scene investigators searched for physical evidence.
Jen Kalban, an events promoter who moved into Shores in September, said she heard several gunshots from inside her apartment.
“I don’t know what woke me up, but I heard someone running through gravel,” said Kalban, 25. “I heard someone shout ‘Hey, what’s up,’ then a gunshot, a pause, and then two [gunshots] back-to-back.”
Kalban said she called emergency responders but was afraid to look out from her balcony.
“I was really shaking,” she said. “I didn’t want to move. I just got on the phone. Called my mom.”
Several Shores residents said the shooting victim was an African immigrant who went by the name Patrick.
“Patrick was a really sweet guy. He gave my dog treats. He always said hi,” resident Gladys Bernadac said.
“Patrick was the sweetest, kindest, most caring person you’d meet. He always smiled. He was a helper, a server, and whoever did this needs to be caught. It’s an outrage,” said a tearful woman who identified herself only as Sally.
The victim and other courtesy patrol staff were hired through a third-party security firm, said David O. Levine, chief of staff to Shores LLC managing partner Jerry B. Epstein.
“This is a terrible, terrible tragedy. The victim was beloved both by staff and residents here at Shores, but beyond that I can’t really comment,” said Levine, who is also president of the Marina del Rey Lessees Assoc., a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of developers leasing parcels in the county-owned harbor.
There are 544 apartments in the 12 buildings that make up Shores. About half are occupied, Levine said.
The first two buildings in the complex opened in August and the final building hit the rental market in November.
Known for fine dining, yacht clubs and waterfront views, Marina del Rey has one of the Westside’s lowest violent crime rates. Only 14 violent crimes have been reported over the past six months, according to reports by the Sheriff’s Marina del Rey Station.
But Monday’s shooting death is the second killing to rock Marina del Rey residents in the past six weeks.
Venice resident Guillermo Carmona-Perez, 24, was found stabbed to death shortly after midnight on Nov. 18 near the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Washington Boulevard, only a few feet outside Marina del Rey. According to Los Angeles police, Carmona-Perez was killed shortly after leaving a Marina del Rey restaurant where he worked as a line cook.
The last murder to take place within Marina del Rey was in July 2010, when 90-year-old Mary Jane Sternal and 81-year-old Harry Antler were found shot to death in the 14000 block of Palawan Way. Investigators later ruled the killings a murder suicide, finding Antler killed his ailing partner before turning the gun on himself.
Staff writer Gary Walker contributed to this report.