Suspects in shooting at a homeless encampment near Venice and Sepulveda boulevards. (SOURCE: George Frem)

CULVER CITY (CBSLA) — Police are searching for a pair of men who were caught on security video opening fire on a homeless encampment near Venice, an area trying to deal with the growing homeless population.

In the video, a gray Honda Accord can be seen pulling up to the encampment near Venice and Sepulveda boulevards. A man gets out and opens fire before a second man approaches the tents. They both retreat after the man fires the gun, and they flee.

The ambush is the latest in what L.A. residents say is a growing trend of violence in transient enclaves and their surrounding areas.

“We’ve become victims here,” resident Crystal Chen told CBS2 News. “Just stay for two minutes. You could see a drug transaction, prostitution.”

“I’ve definitely found needles thrown over our fence a bunch. I’ve come home with people definitely passed out on drugs,” said another resident.

L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area, says he and his office are working with outreach teams and the LAPD to address the crime, but residents point to the latest incident as proof the encampment is dangerous.

“Obviously, this is very much a mental health issue that’s going on that the city is not providing for, but […] besides that, it’s becoming a safety issue for everyone around here,” complained the man.

Bonin faced angry Venice residents last month opposed to the city’s proposed temporary housing complex for the homeless in an old Metro bus lot.

“We’re all hardworking taxpayers,” echoed Chen. “The property values go down, the kids cannot even go outside to walk outside. I’m afraid.”

The man who was shot in the encampment reportedly walked to a nearby convenience store to meet police and was taken to a hospital. The gunmen remain at large.

In May, residents in L.A.’s Fairfax District brought up similar concerns after a fight near Poinsettia Park was caught on tape.

Comments (6)
  1. Matthew Hetz says:

    The news reporter gave his report while standing in front of the Pacific Division Station of the LAPD, as in Los Angeles Police Department. The shooting took place within Los Angeles city limits. THE LAPD does not have stations in cities outside of Los Angeles. How, in any sense, could this news segment be reported from Culver City as listed in the news segment?

  2. John Purnell says:

    NOT Culver City! This is Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s baby.

  3. John Garland says:

    I find it appalling that the homeless got blamed for this shooting. Not one person interviewed expressed a desire/demand that the shooters get caught and prosecuted. Have the homeless no value any longer? Whoever the homeless are…there is no justification for the shooting.

  4. 1) The homeless are not dangerous. They are the ones vulnerable to random people driving by shooting at them. 2) One need not to be afraid of the homeless, even the “crazy” ones – if you keep your distance and do not engage. They mostly want to be left alone. 3) Not excusing prostitution and drug use, but it is understandable that when your life suck ass and you need money, you do what you can to survive. That said, the smell of urine and the garbage that some leave behind makes it unpleasant to walk by. But simply kicking them out of Mar Vista is not the solution. We’re just passing the homeless from city to city. They will return.

    1. Nanette Pastor-Hanna says:

      Many homeless people are not dangerous. I live a few blocks from this encampment. They’ve mugged neighbors, threatened them directly, vandalize property, and more. As the video says, this encampment is destroying the neighborhood.

  5. If you normalize and tolerate these homeless encampments, then of course they grow. Neighborhoods like these are under siege from their drugs, petty crime and general craziness.

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