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.
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.
Police say the handgun used in the crime was allegedly recovered from his vehicle.
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.