By Olin Ericksen
November 15 -- A 25-year-old Los Angeles man locally
seeking help to kick substance abuse continues to fight for his
life at a local hospital after being shot in the Pico Neighbor
Sunday afternoon, a likely victim of gang violence.
“Right now he is still in critical condition,” said
Captain Alex Padilla, spokesperson for the Police Department.
“They are still concerned about his abdomen,” where
he sustained one of the two gunshot wounds, Padilla said.
The Latino male – a patient at the Santa Monica-based rehabilitation
clinic, the CLARE Foundation – was the victim of a drive-by
shooting at around 2 p.m. at 11th Street and Michigan Avenue in
the Pico Neighborhood.
A brown vehicle was seen leaving the scene, several witnesses
“We don’t know if it was gang-related at this point,”
Padilla told The Lookout Tuesday. “But it’s leaning
in that direction for sure.”
Police have said they are also unsure of whether the man was
the intended target or a random victim or if he had any involvement
or affiliation with gangs.
While CLARE officials said they could offer little comment about
the incident because of confidentiality, they did offer words
of support and said there are signs the man is recovering.
“He’s doing much better, and we’re happy to
hear he’s doing much better,” said Lacey Von Deak,
communications coordinator for CLARE, which has operated locally
for 36 years.
“On Sunday, things looked pretty bleak, but the conditions
are improving,” she said.
The shooting comes a few weeks after a woman received a gunshot
wound to the leg in the 2700 block of Pico Boulevard, but police
said the area – after a rash of shootings over the summer
– appears relatively calm.
“They have been the only two incidents for a while, and
they appear unrelated,” said Padilla. “We’re
not getting a rash of gang incidents.”
If the victim of the latest shooting is not involved in gangs,
it could be the second time this year that an innocent bystander
was the victim of gang-related violence. The fatal shooting of
Eddie Lopez, a16-year-old Samohi student, in March is still under
Police said they hope to canvass the area again to round up more
information from witnesses who have not yet come forward.
Anyone with information should call the Santa Monica Police-Robbery/Homicide
Unit at 310.458.8451 or the Watch Commander at 310.458.8427.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the WE-TIP hotline
at 1-800-78-CRIME. Callers that lead to an arrest and conviction
become eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.