Man critically wounded in afternoon shooting in Wrigley alley

Long Beach police are investigating a drive-by shooting that left a man critically wounded in an alley in the South Wrigley neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Police were called just before 3 p.m. for reports of an assault with a deadly weapon near the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 20th Street. There they found a victim suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds to the upper body. He was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, police said.

Police said the victim was in an alley when he was shot by an unknown number of suspects in a white sedan.

The shooting is being investigated as possibly gang-related, police said.

Witness Nichole Hakimanian was leaving her apartment to go for a bike ride when she heard about five gunshots and then the sound of car tires screeching in the alleyway.

Hakimanian said she later learned that her neighbor, a man in his 20s, had been wounded in a drive-by shooting while standing in his garage.

Hakimanian said the area has long had crime issues but shootings have been more frequent in the pandemic.

“I hear gunshots every night almost,” she said. “People are desperate.”

Shootings have spiked this year in Long Beach, increasing 145% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to last year.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].