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Two Santa Monicans Shot Over Weekend; One Dead

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

September 27 -- A Santa Monica man lays dead and another injured after two separate shootings over the weekend.

Santa Monica resident Jesse Becerra, 24, was shot multiple times at close range and killed after walking out of a party in the 4900 block of 21st Street in Los Angeles early Sunday morning, Los Angeles Police said.

Becerra was a member of a local gang known as Santa Monica 13, police said.

The incident took place at around 12:45 a.m., as Becerra walked west on 21st Street towards Le Brea, according to Los Angeles police. The suspect ran up to him and shot him several times in the head with a handgun.

Another man, who was reportedly with Becerra, received wounds to his buttocks, but was reported in stable condition.

The suspect in the Becerra shooting is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 5 inches to 7 inches tall and weighing approximately 125 pounds. He was wearing a pink or orange shirt with baggy pants and was clean-shaven with a shaved or buzzed hair cut.

The suspect reportedly jumped into a four-door black Lincoln Navigator with tinted windows, Los Angeles Police said.

The shooting came less than twelve hours after a shooting in Santa Monica sent local police racing to the 1300 block of Stanford Street at around 2 p.m. Saturday.

While surveying the scene, officers were informed a man walked into a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper torso, police said.

The man lay in guarded condition Monday, according to police.

Authorities said they are looking for two Hispanic males driving a brown Ford minivan.

It is not known if the Santa Monica shooting was gang-related, said Lt. Frank Fabrega, a spokesman for the Santa Monica police department.

However, police authorities said they are investigating if the two shootings are related.

The latest violence comes one month after two Santa Monica youths received non-life threatening gunshot wounds on August 22. The suspects were described as driving a “dark van with tinted windows.”

A week later, two individuals were shot during an assault in the Pico Neighborhood and taken to a local hospital, police said. One sustained a gunshot wound to his leg, the other was shot in the upper torso. (see story)

One of the shootings reportedly began in the Pico Neighborhood and ended up in a car chase, with suspects reportedly firing at the other vehicle as they raced through the Santa Monica residential neighborhood of Sunset Park. (see story)

Police said they have already stepped up patrols in the gang-prone Pico neighborhood in the last several months and are continuing with neighborhood meetings, but do not intend to increase their presence.

The shootings also come as City officials Monday said they plan to release a progress report later this week on how far the City and a half dozen other “partners” have come along in a plan to combat youth and gang violence in Santa Monica.

The action items, which include boosting job opportunities for Santa Monica youths, providing better educational opportunities and creating programs for at risk youths came out of a series of workshops attended by school, business and city leaders nearly six months ago. (see story)

Anyone with information on the Beccera murder should call Los Angeles Police Detectives Cade or Turriaga at 213-473-0551.

Anyone with information on the Santa Monica shooting is encouraged to contact the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8491.

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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