The gunman who wounded two people at the Redondo Beach Pier prior to being fatally shot by police was publicly identified Saturday as a Long Beach resident.
Kenneth Vessell was 36 years old, according to the coroner’s office.
Redondo Beach police received a call regarding a gunshot victim and an active shooter in the area of the Horseshoe Pier in the 100 block of West Torrance Boulevard about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, said Deputy Tracy Koerner of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which was aiding in the investigation.
On arrival, the Redondo officers found two gunshot victims, Koerner said.
Redondo Beach Police Lt. Shawn Freeman said officers pursued an armed shooting suspect and located him near a rock embankment by the beach’s waterline.
Koerner said the suspect was armed with a handgun and a knife—and that when officers attempted to detain him, “an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
The suspect was struck in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene, Koerner said.
A handgun and knife were recovered at the scene, and no officers or additional civilians were injured, Koerner added.
One of the wounded victims was described by deputies as a boy, while the other was described as a man.
Both suffered single gunshot wounds to the lower body and were taken to a hospital, where they were in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Koerner.
Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives were assisting the Redondo Beach Police Department with what was being called “an attempted murder/officer-involved shooting investigation.”
Witnesses described a scary and chaotic scene at the usually bustling pier.
One man told KTLA5 he was shot at and that his ear was still ringing hours later because “it was that close.”
“He just missed me again as I was ducking,” the man told KTLA, referring to the shooter.
Joe Granda was in Tony’s on the Pier with his brother when they heard what sounded like five loud cracks. He told the Los Angeles Times that he and other patrons hid under tables, and that about five to 10 minutes later he saw police swarm the pier.
Granda said he was able to see a man he thinks was the shooter hurdle over a railing and fall onto rocks below the pier with officers in pursuit.
He told the Times that he heard about five gunshots and saw the man stumble.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
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