Gunfight in Parking Lot off Sunset on May 1

A mega airsoft party package of  10 DOA 6mm Airsoft Guns Rifles + 4200 .12g BBs can be purchased for $55 on the internet. The red tip is supposed to let law enforcement know that these are not real guns–but a kid was shot in Ohio by a police officer because he could not tell if the gun was fake.

(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by property owners to LAPD, Councilmember Traci Parks and Pacific Palisades Community Council President Maryam Zar. An earlier letter had already been sent detailing problems.)

As I feared, the problem in our parking lot has escalated and become demonstrably worse.  Yesterday [May 1], larger groups of youths, using what appeared to be automatic weapons, exchanged pellet gun fire for an extended period of time threatening the public, damaging property, blocking access to parked cars, the parking lots and businesses.

It was a shoot-out, and we are fortunate, this time, that it was only pellets. Marauding youths even entered a business brandishing a weapon and caused one of our tenants, Mathnasium, which is a tutoring center, to go into lockdown mode because they reasonably believed that they were in the midst of a mass shooting event.

Please be reminded that Seven Arrows school is another of our tenants and is occupied primarily by elementary school-aged children who are also endangered.

We are well aware that problems of this nature have become more widespread throughout the Palisades, occurring in the adjacent CVS and in the nearby public park.  Need there be more evidence of the urgent need for LAPD enforcement on a “priority” basis than the continuing spread of these issues?

I have reached out to council member Parks’ office and spoke by telephone with her community liaison, Michael Amster, to express my growing concerns and frustration that this is simply being treated only as a matter of misbehaving entitled teenagers who require more parenting.  I assure you that is not the case.

I am aware of constraints that you may face, but I also want to remind the LAPD and the Council Member that this is more a problem of allocation than of resources.  Communities such as Pacific Palisades provide a disproportionate share of the City’s budget but receive far less in the way of LAPD service than its due.  We should not be required to separately fund public policing activities. When a need arises, it is only appropriate for the Department to respond on a timely and effective and priority basis.

I expect that you will increase your efforts to create a secure environment for this community.  I firmly believe that an effective deterrent and enforcement presence by the LAPD will stop these problems before they get even worse.

As a point of information, we have recently retained International Protective Services (IPS) to provide a highly visible private security presence on our property.  Having said that does not, in any way, obviate the responsibility of the LAPD to provide the primary level of security to this community.  Community members are entitled to be able to live, work, and conduct business in Pacific Palisades without resorting to hiring a personal private security detail to ensure their safety on a day-to-day basis.

Sunset La Cruz Investors

This air gun makes it difficult to tell whether it fires bullets or pellets.


The first letter (below) was also sent to the Park, LAPD and Zar and talks about possible drug interactions in the parking lot.

We are the owners of the retail property and parking lot in the village area of Pacific Palisades located at 15220-15240 Sunset Blvd and 15231-15239 La Cruz Drive.  For reference purposes, our property is just off the southwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and La Cruz Drive, and our parking lot is immediately contiguous to the Los Angeles City parking lot at that location.

Our ingress and egress are shared with the city parking lot. Our tenants include Wells Fargo Bank, Seven Arrows Elementary School, Palisades Pit Stop, Naturella Beauty Center, Obsessed Jewelry, Club Pilates, Palisades Garden Cafe, and Mathnasium.

We are reaching out seeking your assistance in an effort to stop the ongoing criminal activity occurring daily (M-F) in our parking lot and in the adjacent city parking lot following the end of the school day at Palisades High School.

Large groups of teenage youth are congregating in the parking lots. It is our observation that the purpose of these gatherings is to conduct what is essentially an illegal pop-up drug market. In addition, these activities adversely impact the operation of our tenants’ businesses, and they pose a threat to the personal safety and well-being of members of the community.

The issue of intimidation is so great that, other than the perpetrators and their customers, the parking lots are now nearly empty in the late afternoons and avoided by others at times when they would normally be full.

These groups of juveniles also trespass on private property, engage in malicious mischief, disorderly conduct, litter and block ingress and egress through the alley, which is a public thoroughfare, that serves both properties.

There is a pattern to the observed activity. Starting at approximately 3 to 4 p.m., the first juveniles arrive by car and on foot. They park in private reserved parking places and, unpaid, in metered city parking places. They are soon joined by others who surround the vehicles, begin smoking and playing loud music.

Many arrivals greet the drivers, who do not exit their cars, and then move to the trunks of the parked cars where they retrieve items to smoke. From there, they move to Palisades Garden Café and loiter in the alley or use customer seating on La Cruz Drive.  At times fights ensue that are videoed by spectators.

We have a genuine concern that the illicit and illegal activities that we are witnessing will pose an even greater risk to our community unless the LAPD intervenes. While we are aware of the constraints on the police department due to budgetary limitations and personnel shortages, we believe this problem has risen to a level that bears its immediate attention and enforcement activities in order to avoid even more dire consequences. While we have already engaged private security, the intervention of the LAPD is clearly warranted at this time.


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One Response to Gunfight in Parking Lot off Sunset on May 1

  1. Marge says:

    What will it take to end this behavior ? I use the pay parking lot whenever I go to Naturella and I don’t want to have to time my shopping so that I avoid the afternoon time when these juvenile delinquents take over the lot. Think of all the tenants whose businesses are affected by these delinquents. This all has to STOP!!

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