REDONDO BEACH (CBSLA) — An armed man who opened fire on the Redondo Beach Pier Wednesday night, wounding two people, was himself shot and killed by police, authorities said.
The incident began at 8:20 p.m. when Redondo Beach police responded to reports of an active shooter at the pier, in the 100 block of West Torrance Boulevard.
Witnesses said a man in his 40’s started asking people on the pier if they had a problem with him, and then took out a gun and opened fire.
A man in his 70’s and a teenage boy were shot in the lower torso, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports. They were rushed to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Both were stable Thursday morning.
Investigators said the shooter then ran to the parking lot firing at another man, but he wasn’t hit. Officers said that’s when the suspect encountered four Redondo Beach police officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred.
The sheriff’s department reported Thursday that the shooting appeared to be random in nature, not targeted.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene as people ducked down and hid in restaurants and shops or sprinted for safety.
“It was a stampede of people on the pier and we were all running in the same direction to get off the pier,” witness Patricia Shafik told CBSLA. “When the police showed up, immediately as they pulled into the pier, they started firing off and yelling commands.”
Robert Naito was fishing on the pier at the time of the shooting.
“We hear some kind of noise and think it’s fireworks at first trying to give it the benefit of the doubt but then we notice people are panicking,” said Naito. “We hear gunshots on one side, gunshots on the other side, so he’s running around shooting all over the place.”
Officers located the suspect nearby with a knife and gun. At some point, officers opened fire on the suspect, who tried to run. Witness cell phone video captured the sound of at least two gunshots. The suspect was later found on some rocks on the pier, where he was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s department said. He was not immediately identified.
Elizabeth Espinosa posted a video to social media of patrons and staff taking shelter in a nearby restaurant.
“We’re all in the top part of the kitchen here in the restaurant. Here are all the dinner guests, people on the ground, super frightening, this is horrible.”
“I didn’t see the actual shootings take place, but I saw the aftermath, which was the shooter slumped over the rocks right over there, pretty tough sight to see, especially in a place so close to home,” Ian Axberg, who was dining in the same restaurant, told CBSLA Thursday.
A handgun and knife were recovered from the scene, according to the sheriff’s department. It’s unclear if the suspect opened fire on police.
There was no word on a motive. It’s unclear if the initial shooting was random or targeted in nature. The sheriff’s department is leading the investigation. The Redondo Beach Pier was expected to remain closed for most of the day Thursday.