Loud booms near National Guard mistaken for gunfire, police find no evidence of shooting at Pike

Long Beach police on Tuesday night were called to the Pike in Downtown Long Beach by National Guard members who heard loud booms and thought it could’ve been gunfire, officials said.

Police, who are at maximum deployment, immediately swarmed the area just after 11 p.m. in search for a suspect, Deputy Chief Eric Herzog said. The National Guard members have been stationed at the Pike and Pine Avenue since Sunday night when looters hit the area after a protest against police brutality.

“They told us, ‘We heard two loud booms from the parking garage and saw a shadow of a person running in the area,'” Herzog said. “Obviously that would get our attention right away.”

Police got other reports of the loud booms. As they surrounded the area around the Pike and convention center, they checked video surveillance footage from the area, but did not find any evidence of a shooting from the video. They also could not find evidence of strike marks or bullet casings.

He believes the booms were possibly fireworks, he said.

Police detained at least four people in the area initially, but released them at the scene because they were likely homeless, Herzog said.

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Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. She started at the Post in 2018 as a breaking news reporter. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.