A man suspected of shooting two people at the Redondo Beach Pier before he was shot and killed by police apparently targeted the victims at random, sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
The burst of violence was first reported as an “active shooter” incident with a gunshot victim about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of West Torrance Boulevard, where the pier is located, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers with the Redondo Beach Police Department arrived on scene and located two victims; one was an approximately 40- to 45-year-old man and the other was teenage boy, sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean said. Both had been shot in the lower torso.
Both victims, who appear to be related, were taken to a local hospital and last reported to be in stable condition, according to the lieutenant. He did not disclose their relationship.
It does not appear that the assailant and the victims knew each other.
“The victims were on the pier and appears the suspect just happened to be walking by, and that’s when the suspect retrieved a semi-automatic handgun and started shooting indiscriminately at people on the pier,” Dean said at a Thursday morning news conference.
According to witnesses, the gunman was down in a parking lot when he began randomly shooting at people up on the pier.
“Whoever was going by, he was taking pop shots at them,” one witness told KTLA, saying he was among the people the assailant fired at. “He just missed me.”
The man added that his ears were still ringing hours later. “It was that close,” he said.
Beyond the two hospitalized victims, no one else was struck by the gunfire.
As officers responded, witnesses described the shooter to them and directed police to his location near a Redondo Beach Pier parking structure, where they encountered the man. He was armed with the handgun and also a large knife “which prompted an officer-involved shooting” along a walkway outside the garage, Dean said.
The gunman was shot multiple times and died at the scene, according to the lieutenant. The officers were not hurt.
Authorities have not yet identified the suspect.
A semi-automatic handgun and a knife were recovered at the scene, according to Dean.
Investigators are still working to determine a motive for the shooting.
“We don’t know his reason for being here or if he lived in the area,” Dean said. “That something that obviously we’re going to have to investigate, if he was a patron of any of the stores or restaurants prior to the shooting.”
The pier, a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, was evacuated in the wake of the deadly incident and was closed through Thursday morning amid the investigation. Authorities canvassed the area for more witnesses and any surveillance video that potentially captured the shooting.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who would prefer to leave a tip anonymously are asked to contact Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-8477 or by going to the website www.lacrimestoppers.org.