Detectives from Pacific Division have not had the opportunity yet to talk to the man who was shot during an alleged gang-related flash mob earlier this month.
The victim, a 23-year-old man from the South L.A. area who has not been identified, is still in critical condition at a local hospital after being shot in the head and in the side at approximately 6:30 p.m. on April 16, LAPD Capt. Jon Peters told Patch. The shooting took place on the boardwalk near the basketball courts at 17th Street. No other injuries were reported.
Peters confirmed that detectives from Pacific Division's gang impact team were leading the investigation.
"We had a number of people who descended on Venice Beach in a coordinated effort," Peters said. "Some people were wearing blue and some wearing red. That would be an indication of gang factions being present."
Gang activity is not new to Venice Beach, and is one reason why dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
"We've had gangs at the beach in the past," said Det. Commanding Officer Lt. Jeff Bert. He said Venice Beach "draws conversation" and attracts gang members looking for attention.
"There is always a potential for Venice Beach to go off, when you add alcohol and you add warm weather," he said, although he stressed that he does not think the recent activity is establishing a pattern. "The reality is, Venice Beach is the second-largest tourist attraction in Southern California."
A after a fight broke out at the weekly drum circle is still under investigation. "The kid who was stabbed tried to break it up," Bert said. The victim is in stable condition. "He was very fortunate," Bert said. He called attempts to find witnesses at the melee "challenging." Police have not officially determined whether that incident was gang-related or not.
in Venice was determined to be gang-related, but was not related to this month's boardwalk incident, Peters said. The victim, who was shot in the chest at Rose Court and 6th Avenue, has since been released from the hospital. No arrests have been made.
Bert also pointed out that although burglaries in the Venice Beach area are up from last year, the violent crime rate is down.