LOS ANGELES, JUNE 8, 2013 — Los Angeles became the latest county to suffer a mass shooting. On Friday, a gunman went on a violent rampage in Santa Monica.
While Santa Monica is considered be part of the wealthy West Side of Los Angeles, it is actually, like Beverly Hills to the East, a separate city with its own Mayor and police force.
On any given Summer Friday, hundreds of people can be found walking the Third Street Promenade and the beach right by the ocean. On this Friday, Santa Monica became a war zone. An entire day later questions remain unanswered.
The local school is Santa Monica College. Students attend this two year college and then often transfer to UCLA or USC.
Santa Monica is a very diverse city.
There are plenty of hipsters hanging out at coffee shops, and plenty of hippies in this ultra-liberal city often referred to as the People’s Republic of Santa Monica. The green movement has plenty of fans here.
Yet there are also some very quiet, wealthy enclaves, especially since Santa Monica is surrounded by Brentwood (famous for the O.J. Simpson chase), Venice (beloved hangout of starving artists and beachgoers), Marina Del Rey (where they love their boats), and Malibu and the Pacific Palisades.
The area is home to the wealthy, liberal and celebrities, which is why President Obama was there at the time of the shooting.
Nobody could have expected this because these shootings are supposed to be things that happen in “other neighborhoods.” Santa Monica is a “good neighborhood” where nothing ever happens and nothing is supposed to happen. My friends and I frequently travel the ten minutes from my home to go there for quiet, relaxing evenings. Earlier in the day, the complaints about President Obama were less about politics and more about his motorcade tying up traffic.
A jolt of perspective changed everything on Friday at 11:52am (all times PST) when the shooting began.
Santa Monica officials living ordinary lives had to introduce themselves to a public and media wanting answers.
City Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, Fire Chief Scott Ferguson, and Santa Monica College Police Chief Al Vasquez were professional, but unable to offer much.
Chief Seabrooks described a “white male, (aged) twenty-five to thirty…dressed in all black.”
She cited “several killed,” and “several injured.”
Chief Ferguson stated, “as many as six dead plus the suspect.” He reiterated, “at least half a dozen dead,” and “at least two or three injured.” The death roll did not include the gunman.
There were tiny slivers of good news in an otherwise bleak situation. on Saturday, the death toll had been revised downward to four victims plus the shooter.
Two piece of information from Friday thankfully remained unchanged.
Chief Seabrooks made it clear that while President Obama was only three miles away, from the shooting, he was not in any danger. For those who want to politicize this tragedy, it initially appears to have nothing to do with politics. The Secret Service is treating this as a local law enforcement matter, and President Obama was safely in Palm Springs (two hours away) by the end of the day.
Chief Vasquez insisted that this was “not a school shooting.” The shooting “began off campus.”
The shooter carjacked one vehicle, fired shots at a bus, killed the drive of an SUV, and finished his rampage in the library at Santa Monica College.
The one question everybody wants answered is the obvious one. Why? Why did this man do this?
As of now, we do not know. No motive has been established. The location of the college seems to be a coincidence. President Obama’s proximity seems to be a coincidence.
This is an ongoing investigation, and that is all we know.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
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