Eyewitness describes chaos as gunman opens fire at Venice park
A gunman calmly shot three victims, two of them fatally, as a woman fled with a small child in her arms and others scrambled for safety Wednesday afternoon at a Venice Park, according to an eyewitness.
The shooting at normally quiet Penmar Park erupted in a grassy area near a recreation center and a baseball diamond shortly after 4 p.m., said the eyewitness.
"I heard popping sounds," the woman told The Times, "and I saw a guy standing and shooting a gun."
She said the attacker jumped into a car, perhaps a silver Volkswagen station wagon, where a driver was waiting and fled.
Meanwhile, another bystander was giving CPR to one of the victims sprawled on the grass. A third bystander was giving CPR to a wounded man in the bleachers.
The shooting forced officers to lock down the recreation center, where small children were playing, said Lt. Jeff Bert of the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Area. The children were later reunited with their parents.
Bert said the shooting appears to be gang-related. Officers found several shell casings in the area.
The third victim, police said, was shot in the leg and was being treated at a hospital. The two dead men were believed to be between 18 and 20 years old, the LAPD said.
At least 15 homicides have been reported in Venice since January 2007, according to a Times Homicide Report database.
Map shows Venice homicides reported since 2007. Credit: Times' Homicide Report.