Just after the top-40 Hollywood club Wonderland had ushered its patrons out onto the sidewalk of North Cahuenga Boulevard last night -- at about 2 a.m., or 3 a.m. under daylight savings time -- club-goers were met with a rain of bullets from a party bus parked out front.
Four people were shot:
Two men in their 40s (in the leg) and two woman in their 20s (one in the butt, one grazed in the head). Miraculously, no one died at the scene, and all injured victims are expected to live.
Update: According to City News Service, the LAPD has changed the list of victims to include the following: A 22-year-old North Hollywood woman (shot in the butt); a 46-year-old man and 21-year-old woman from Riverside (both grazed in the head); and a 29-year-old man from Atlanta (shot in the leg).
Though original reports said the shooting had occurred after an argument on the bus, LAPD Officer Karen Rayner (of media relations) tells the Weekly that the four victims were actually standing outside the club at the time, while the shooter fired from a bus window. The clubbers had allegedly just attended a private birthday event at Wonderland."There was a group of people standing in front of a nightclub, and someone shot from inside the party bus into the crowd," says Rayner.
LAPD investigators think the suspect may have fled the scene in a blue Chevrolet El Camino.
The crime occurred within hours of another party bus incident, in which a 20-something man -- who had apparently been trying to flag the bus down -- was run over and injured critically. That bus had been dropping off riders just a few blocks away, near another club off the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the 1700 block of North McCadden place, when the victim was crushed by its rear wheel.
From the Los Angeles Times report:
The man, whose identity was not released, had been a passenger on the bus as it stopped at various night clubs, said Sgt. Murrel Pettway of LAPD's West Traffic division. At about 11:25 p.m. the bus was driving on McCadden Place and the man was trying to catch up so he could reboard, but he lost his footing and was caught under the bus' wheels.
"Somehow, when he got run over, he ended up getting into the tire well," Pettway said. "He was severely injured and he's now at Cedars-Sinai [Medical Center]."
Rayner says that, at this time, the LAPD does not believe the two party-bus incidents involved the same vehicle. She adds that the night's first victim was "transported in very critical condition, but last I heard, he is still hanging on." Update: He has been identified as 22-year-old Namar Burton of Murrieta.
The four shootout victims are in more stable condition at both the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the USC Medical Center.
The party-bus industry in Hollywood has been under attack recently for rogue business activities and generally enabling these sorts of shenanigans -- but nothing as extreme as a shootout. This very well might be the beginning of the end for many young Hollywood crazies' pre-game on wheels.
Update, March 13, 4:30 p.m.: Twitter user @AppLe_Headdd looks to have been updating throughout the rampage last night. Her Tweets suggest there might have been some sort of lockdown following the gunfire:According to the Los Angeles Examiner, "members of the Los Angeles Guardian Angels where also on scene and assisted LAPD units with keeping people outside the area and directing traffic."
The LAPD also told the Examiner that the party bus was stopped at Hollywood and Gower soon after the shooting, "but the suspect was not on the bus."
Police have received various witness accounts that don't exactly line up, so they're holding off on comment until the investigation develops. We're waiting for a call back from Wonderland for their version of what went down last night. If you were at the scene or have any insight into the shooting, please let us know.
Update, March 14, 7:30 a.m.: LAPD spokeswoman Rayner has a slightly different version of the story, as of late last night: "Witnesses reported seeing a fight break out in front of a nightclub that erupted in gunfire. When the shooting began the witnesses ran for cover, and some of them boarded a party bus that was parked nearby.''
The shooter is believed to a thin black man in his early 20s. According to City News Service, "he was wearing a blue and white shirt and his hair was styled with multiple twists held with small rubber bands."
Anyone with additional information on the shooting is urged to contact LAPD Detective Kevin Becker at (213) 972-2967.
Originally posted March 13 at 3:50 p.m.