Shooting at Homeless Encampment Leaves One Dead

Angry Residents Attack Council over Inaction

Culver City leaders drew the ire of residents this week following the deadly shooting at a homeless encampment on Venice Boulevard.

Culver City and Los Angeles police received a call shortly before 1 p.m. last Saturday that a man with a gun had just exited a tent at the homeless encampment under the 405 Freeway at Venice Boulevard.

LAPD was first on the scene and a supervisor confronted the suspect. A shooting ensued and the suspect was shot, police said. Culver City and Los Angeles City paramedics arrived at the scene to treat the shooting victim. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

The police investigation tied up Venice Boulevard for most of the day on Saturday.

Lt. Bill Browne of the Culver City Police Department gave the City Council a report of the incident at Monday night's meeting. Although the officer involved shooting took place within the city limits of Culver City, the LAPD began the investigation as it was one of their officers involved in the shooting, he said. CCPD officers assisted with traffic control.

Angry residents, who previously complained about the homeless issues with trash, human waste and criminal activity in their neighborhoods, blasted the city leaders at Monday night's meeting.

Resident Mark Lipman admonished the council, saying you have "ambitious plans but, as of yet, nothing has been implemented." He alluded to statements made by the mayor and councilmember indicating that decisions had already been made -- without the input of the community.

Lipman suggested that it was mere window dressing to listen to the views of residents. He accused councilmembers of falling "in lock step with developers", saying if things continue, we will have a community for "the very rich and the very poor."

Frank Clark a resident of the area around Venice and the 405, called for safety for his neighborhood "criminal vagrancy." He finished his remarks with "this is enough. Stop enabling criminal vagrancy." He also talked about the $500,000 the council has approved to beautify the front of city hall, asking the council to spend the money to beautify their neighborhoods.

Ron Bassilian, a leader in an organization named Protect Culver City, announced the formation of a neighborhood watch for the Globe Avenue area, stating that "the rules at shelters will be the same rules enforced on our streets."

Karlo Silbiger, chair of the Culver City Homeless Committee, announced a plan to build housing for the homeless on the site of the AMVES Building, adding that the property housing the scout house, the community garden and the handball courts would need to be included in the plan. He spoke of the importance of retaining facilities for those three entities but didn't provide specifics as to how they could all occupy the site.

Earlier in the meeting, Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld requested additional city funding to cleanup and maintain the growing homeless encampments. He said the city had been spending $20,000 a year for the services and the city had budgeted $50,000 this year but he requested that amount be increased to $64,000. He noted the city had already spent $22,000 this fiscal year which is only halfway through the year.


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