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Shots Ring Out in Pico Neighborhood

By Lookout Staff

December 13 -- Shots were fired but no one injured in what police describe as a gang related shooting in the Pico Neighborhood Saturday, nearly a month after police warned residents that area gang tensions could be on the rise.

Santa Monica Police responded at 2:28 p.m. to the 2000 block of 20th Street after reports of shots fired.

Witnesses told police they saw a black male suspect standing on 20th Street and firing several shots at a moving vehicle traveling on 20th Street, according police.

Officers stopped the victim’s vehicle -- which police say was being driven by a male Hispanic gang member. No one was injured in the incident, but police arrested the passenger in the victim’s car for an outstanding warrant, police said.

The alleged shooting suspect was only described as a black male.

The shooting comes only weeks after police issued a community alert that gang tensions may be mounting, and a few months after a spate of shootings around Santa Monica.

“The Santa Monica Police have received unconfirmed and uncorroborated information from an informant regarding recent gang activity in the Los Angeles Area,” the information bulletin stated.

“This information also identified a Santa Monica gang as a potential target for retaliation.”

At the time the bulletin was issued, Santa Monica Police said there had been “no recent reports of gang violence attributed to Santa Monica gang members… however, over the 19th and 20th of November, the police department has noticed an increase in gang graffiti in the Pico Neighborhood that is indicative of gang tension.”

“Such graffiti in the past has been a precursor to gang violence,” the report stated. “The police department as always continues to maintain a high visibility violence prevention presence in the Pico Neighborhood and Edison School.”

Police stressed that the information is general and unconfirmed, yet still asked that the public be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Anyone with information on Saturday’s shooting is encouraged to contact the Robbery/Homicide Unit of the Santa Monica Police Department at 310 458-8451 or the Watch Commander’s Office at 310-458-8426.

Callers who wish to provide anonymous information may also call the We-Tip national hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463). Callers with information that leads to an arrest and conviction become eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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