People are often surprised to learn that Santa Monica has crime, gangs or a historic barrio near Santa Monica College. It does.
A shooting over the weekend proved that point.
An 18-year-old woman was gunned down on Pico Boulevard but survived with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Santa Monica police:
It happened Saturday about 5 p.m. in the 1800 block of Pico Boulevard, cops say. The area happens to be home to a few longtime gangs, including Santa Monica 13 and the Graveyard Crips.
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The woman was attending a "memorial car wash" in a parking lot at Pico and 19th street when she ran into the boulevard, flagged down a vehicle headed west, and got in, according to a Santa Monica police statement.
Why? It's not clear. But officers say this happened next:
As she entered the vehicle, the suspect ran up and fired several rounds from a handgun into the vehicle striking the victim.
The teen was hit multiple times, cops say, but her injuries were survivable. The driver who picked her up went a half-mile or so west to Pico and Lincoln boulevards, stopped at strip mall that includes a 7-Eleven, and called 911, police said.
Meanwhile, officers set up a dragnet and an hour or so later they say they caught Waiverly Thomas, a 31-year-old from Colton, as he was trying to "exit the perimeter" westbound near Delaware Avenue at 16th Street, according to the department.
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Police say the handgun used in the crime was allegedly recovered from his vehicle.
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Thomas was arrested in connection with the shooting, but investigators seem stumped: They're not sure why he allegedly did it.
The woman is reportedly not cooperating.
If you know something, police would love to hear from you: 310-458-8495.