Police investigate fatal shooting near LBCC Pacific Coast campus

Long Beach police are investigating after a man was found dead early Tuesday morning on the corner of Orange Avenue and Esther Street, which is just south of Pacific Coast Highway.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, police said two suspects approached the victim on foot at approximately 1:25 a.m., shot him and fled in a vehicle. It is unclear which or if both suspects opened fire, police said.

The two assailants fled the scene in a vehicle last seen heading northbound on Orange Avenue toward Pacific Coast Highway, police said.  

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots.

“At first, I thought I was dreaming,” said Nadia Hoppes, a churchkeeper at Living Word Missionary Baptist Church, just across from the scene of the investigation. But she quickly realized that it was gunshots that woke her up. “It was loud,” Hoppes said.

Homicide detectives at a crime scene in Long Beach near Pacific Coast Highway and Orange Avenue on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Jimmy Long, another neighbor, said by the time he walked up to his car at 7 a.m., police had taped off the perimeter around the scene. “I couldn’t leave,” said Long, whose car was parked behind the yellow tape.

The victim, who police say is possibly in his 30s, has not yet been identified and is currently in the custody of the coroner’s office, who will identify the victim and notify the next of kin. The motive for the murder is still unknown.

Homicide detectives were still at the scene hours later.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional information released by the Long Beach Police Department.

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Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.