Nearly two years after a shooting involving party buses near the Santa Monica Pier left a mother dead and others injured, police on Wednesday announced that two men with alleged gang ties have been arrested and charged in the case.
There were no arrests after 28-year-old De’Ommie De La Cruz of Compton was killed in the confrontation between the occupants of two buses on Nov. 4, 2017, and Wednesday marks the first time investigators have publicly identified suspects in the case.
Both men, Cameron Lee and Ron Simmons, were already behind bars in unrelated cases, according to Santa Monica police. Investigators have not said exactly when they were identified as suspects, or how they were tied to the crime.
On Oct. 18, Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Lee with murder, discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, while charges of attempted murder, discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and being a felon in possession of a firearm were filed against Simmons, police said.
The department said both men are also facing gang enhancements.
The gunfire broke out around 1 a.m. as two party buses were parked along Ocean Avenue, near Colorado Boulevard and the pier.
Several people got off one of the buses and got into a fight with the group on the other, and the argument erupted into gunfire, investigators say.
Multiple people fired rounds into one of the buses, and four people were struck.
One victim was found on Ocean Avenue, and the bus drove to Santa Monica police headquarters with three victims aboard.
Three people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, while the fourth suffered minor injuries and was not taken for treatment, officers said.
De La Cruz succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. She left behind a 2-year-old daughter, loved ones said at the time.
Although some people were detained following the incident, police had said three to four suspects were at large.
Police said the people in the victims’ bus were celebrating a birthday.