A shooting around sundown, in a dark back-alley near 7th and Rose -- just behind Venice's fancy Whole Foods shopping hub -- left one unidentified man with a gunshot wound to the torso.
More than a dozen LAPD investigators lingered at the scene of the crime a couple hours after the 5:10 p.m. hit.
"The victim is still at the hospital," says LAPD Captain John Peters. "And the suspect..."
"... is still outstanding."
A few blocks of 7th Avenue, and surrounding alleys, were still shut down as of 7:30 p.m. Additional cops were going door-to-door in the neighborhood, asking residents if they'd witnessed anything.
"I'm scared," one woman told an officer after answering her door.
Lisa Fredsti, a longtime Venetian who was walking past the crime scene, said she was surprised to see such a violent crime in this central, active part of town. "Holy moly," she said to Captain Peters. "Here?? I've lived in Venice since '86. You tend to think of that kind of thing not really happening here anymore."
According to Peters, the shooting suspect is 18 to 25 years old. He was last seen fleeing northbound -- on foot -- down the alley behind Whole Foods. LAPD media relations officers describe him as either Latino or a light-skinned black man.
About an hour ago, local crimewatcher Alex Thompson, who listens to a police scanner around the clock, wrote:
Tonight at approximately 5:15 p.m. a male black was shot in the upper chest in the alley at 7th and Rose Ave in Venice. The suspect fled north on 7th towards Santa Monica. Described as a male Hispanic in a dark hoodie, blue jeans with one shoe. Suspect arrived on bike but fled on foot. At this time the victim is in critical condition and by the sounds of it, the outlook does not sound promising.
LAPD is locking down the ENTIRE area from Rose, Ruth, Dewey and Ozone all the way to park. No in. No out until the scene is clear.
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Investigators aren't yet sure whether the crime was gang-related, but "obviously in this area we take that possibility very seriously," says Peters. (By "this area," he means the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice -- albeit, in this case, right up alongside Santa Monica. Looks like white rappers in Priuses can't really joke about it getting real in the Venice Whole Foods parking lot anymore.)
Peters names the local black gang as the Venice Shoreline Crips, and the Latino gang as Venice 13. He recalls another shooting nearby, at 6th and Rose, earlier this year.
In our own recent memory: Residents near Penmar Park, a few blocks east of Whole Foods, were equally shocked this summer when a gang-related shooting took the life of two Venice High seniors during a girls' softball game in the afternoon.