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Weekend Pier Shooting May be Gang Related

By Anne La Jeunesse

Police say that gang activity likely played a part in Saturday's shooting on the ramp leading to the Santa Moncia Pier.

The shooting, which occurred just after 11 p.m., occurred after a group of six suspects asked four victims about their gang affiliation, said Lt. Gary F. Gallinot of the Santa Monica Police Department.

When the victims responded that they were not involved with any gang, the verbal confrontation escalated into a fight. One man pulled out a handgun and fired several shots, wounding the four victims who were challenged. A Thousand Oaks man, who was an uninvolved bystander, was the most seriously injured with a gunshot to one of his wrists, Gallinot said.

"It's obvious the six suspects were involved in a gang," Gallinot said.

All suspects and victims are male, Gallinot said.

The four victims confronted by the six suspects were between 17 and 19 years of age. One of them was treated at the pier and released and the other three were taken to a local hospital, where they were released after being treated for wounds, Gallinot said. The 21-year-old victim from Thousand Oaks was kept longer at the hospital to have his shattered wrist treated, Gallinot said.

The suspects are described as black and between 18 and 20 years of age.

The shooter is described as 5-feet, 9-inches tall with a medium build. He was wearing blue jeans and a black, blue and white plaid shirt. Another of the suspects is described as being 6-feet tall and wearing blue pants and a white shirt. All suspects were last seen running eastbound from the Santa Monica Pier, according to Gallinot.

Further investigation indicated that one of the victims admitted to involvement with a "group" from Los Angeles, Gallinot said. Investigators are looking into that aspect of the case, as the "group" names given to police were not immediately recognized as known gangs, he said.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310/458-8491.

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