Los Angeles Police Department were looking for two suspects on Sunday who opened fire on a group gathered for a beach barbecue in San Pedro the night before, injuring five, two of them critically.
The two male suspects approached the group of 10 to 20 people on Royal Palms Beach near Paseo del Mar and Grayby Avenue at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday, police said. There was a physical altercation and one of the suspects flashed a gun, fired several shots and fled in a car, said Officer Drake Madison, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
All five male victims have been taken to hospital. Two were listed in serious condition and one was stable, police said; the condition of the others was unknown.
A motive for the shooting has not been established.
LAPD spokesman Warren Moore said Saturday that a suspect fled the scene in a gray sedan, driving down Paseo del Mar. Moore said the suspect was a man in his 20s with a short haircut, wearing all black, including a black mask, and was believed to have fired a semi-automatic pistol.
Officials closed Royal Palms Beach on Sunday as they continue their investigation. In a statement, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn and LA City Councilman Tim McOsker said the beach will close earlier on weekends in the future, “as we work together on plans to ensure safety and peaceful community use.”
On Sunday, visitors to Paseo del Mar, overlooking the ocean, were surprised to find the beach closed.
Goran Jovicic, 37, said San Pedro is “a good city” to live in, and he is not worried about the threat of crime.
Two people in July were killed and several were injured when gunfire erupted during a dispute at a softball game in San Pedro’s Peck Park, three miles north of Royal Palms Beach.
Despite the shootings, Jovicic prefers San Pedro to the more populous areas of Los Angeles County because it has “maintained the feel of a small town within a larger city,” he said.
“I feel completely safe,” Jovicic added, noting that locals believe the Peck Park shooting was caused by outsiders.
“In general, there’s more crime in California,” he said, “but it looks like we picked the right place.”
With the beach closed, Steve Koletty and his wife, Honey, were out walking with Gobi, their husky mix, and Hoku, their shepherd mix. The couple, who have lived in San Pedro for more than 30 years, had heard of Saturday’s shooting but were not overly concerned.
Koletty said there are inherent risks associated with living in greater LA
“There are gangs here and probably old disputes,” said the geography professor, who is in his 70s. Still, he enjoys life in what is considered a “working-class, docker town.”
“To live in LA, you have to understand that there is always activity,” said Koletty. “But usually even people who disagree give each other space when you’re at the beach.”