February 5, 2023 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shooting March 7

 

by Melanie Camp

A clash of words ended in gunfire outside Surfside Bar and Grill at 23 Windward Ave., in Venice just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday evening, March 7.

Pacific Division Watch Commander Sergeant Scotty Stevens told Yo! Venice the shooter “fired nine rounds at the victim, who was struck multiple times in the upper body.” According to witnesses, the shooting started with an argument inside the bar. “Witnesses stated that the suspect had been inside the bar for some time,” said Stevens.

Venice Neighborhood Council Homeless Committee Chair, Will Hawkins was in the bar with friends, waiting to sing at Surfside’s open mic night at the time of the shooting. “A tsunami of people rushed from the front of the bar towards the back where we were sitting in a booth,” he told Yo! Venice. After helping his friends escape to the back alley, Hawkins went to investigate.

Between cell phone video and security camera footage the scene Hawkins couldn’t see was two men having words, words escalated to a shoving match and ended with the shooter taking a few steps onto the street and firing several shots back toward the bar.

According to Hawkins, LAPD arrived in “less than two minutes.” Hawkins made his way through the flood of people toward the front of the bar. “I smelled gunpowder and thought maybe someone had thrown firecrackers into the bar.” Once outside, Hawkins saw otherwise. “I saw a man on the ground bleeding from his chest. His friend was will him.” Hawkins joined as an extra set of hands, applying pressure to the wounds and helping calm the victim until paramedics arrived.

With the shooter fast leaving the scene, police gathered witness statements. “Everyone said the same thing; a tall white guy who seemed to have mental health issues,” Hawkins recalled.

The following day, LAPD arrested 46-year-old Robert Mewhorter in connection with the shooting. Identified from video footage and witness descriptions, Mewhorter “was spotted the next day near an encampment where he lived on Grand” Avenue in Venice. According to Stevens, Mewhorter was living in the encampment. “He was arrested without any problems. A female that was with him was also detained and interviewed,” said Stevens.

Detectives interviewed Mewhorter at Pacific Division station and according to Stevens “his statements led to his booking for attempted murder.” His bail set at $2.08 million. Stevens told Yo! Venice that police have “no information where he got the gun, how long he had it, or what he did with it after the shooting.”

The shooting upset many in Venice who believe the local homeless encampments provide shelter to dangerous people.

Hawkins drew attention to a statistic from the last Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Homeless Count that found over 40% of those living on the streets in L.A. are mentally ill.  After overhearing witnesses say the shooter appeared mentally troubled and later finding out Mewhorter was living in a Venice encampment, Hawkins said of L.A.’s homeless situation, “We see this is more than just a housing issue this is a mental health crisis that is unfolding before us.”

The shooting, Hawkins believes will spark a broader conversation in Venice. “To ignore the sheer volume of people who are mentally ill who are living on the street is reckless, irresponsible, and immoral.”

Related Posts

Jay Handal Seeks Full Term as VNC Treasurer

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

Westside Activist, Entrepreneur, Restaurateur and Owner of Venice ERBA Markets, Handal has a passion for community service! By Nick Antonicello...

Column: Doing the Job and Doing It Well!

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

Retired Attorney Clark Brown is a “no-nonsense” Venetian fighting the plague of street encampments here in the neighborhood! By Nick...

Column: State Usurping Key Powers From Cities

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

By Tom Elias All over California last fall, hundreds of the civic minded spent thousands of hours and millions of...

Column: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority CEO to Earn $430,000 Annually in Uphill Battle to Combat Street Encampments in Both LA City & County!

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum earns support of Mayor Karen Bass, LA County Supervisor Chair Janice Hahn and LAHSA Chair...

Yolanda Gonzalez: A Community Advocate for Community Officer!

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Longtime Venice activist Yolanda Gonzalez seeks seat on Neighborhood Council By Nick Antonicello Yolanda Gonzalez is a jack of all...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

Column: Community Officer Soledad Romero Ursua Seeks Reelection to the Venice Neighborhood Council, Fighting to Keep Our Streets Safe and Secure!

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

This the first in a series of interviews with the candidates seeking election or reelection to the Venice Neighborhood Council...

Column: Building a Better CD-11!

January 19, 2023

January 19, 2023

Councilwoman Traci Park and staffers address homeless concerns and the promises kept in her opening salvo on the LA City...

​​Column: Cleaned & Cleared: Flower Avenue Tents Removed!

January 17, 2023

January 17, 2023

By Nick Antonicello  On the heels of the Hampton sweep and cleanup, Flower Avenue off Lincoln Boulevard here in Dog...

Venice Shorts: Bonin & Darling Seek Delegate Slots to California Democratic Party Convention, Flower Avenue Update, Homeless Count

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Nick Antonicello While Councilwoman Traci Park is now knee-high in developing new public policy downtown, her predecessor and recent...

Venice Shorts: Can the VNC Be Relevant & Effective Once Again?

January 10, 2023

January 10, 2023

By Nick Antonicello The Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) is calling for candidates for a new term of office in an...

Venice Shorts: Where Are All the Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council?

January 9, 2023

January 9, 2023

By Nick Antonicello The 21-member Venice Neighborhood Council is in jeopardy as of this writing with only eleven (11) candidates...

Venice Shorts: Karen Bass & Traci Park, Perfect Together?

January 8, 2023

January 8, 2023

By Nick Antonicello With the election behind us and the politics of governmental progress now the talk of the day,...

Pacific Ocean Park– A Positive & Optimistic Place in Santa Monica’s History

December 20, 2022

December 20, 2022

It’s the Holidays again, and we hope your spirits of joy and happiness are being well celebrated! In continuation of...

​​Column: No One Very Pleased as New Rooftop Solar Rules Improve

December 9, 2022

December 9, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist Only rarely does the California Public Utilities Commission, long known as the least responsive agency in...