Two arrested after midday shooting outside Willmore convenience store

Shots being fired in front of a convenience store at Eighth Street and Chestnut Avenue prompted a large police response Thursday afternoon in the Willmore neighborhood. No one was injured in the shooting, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Officers responded to a call of shots fired at 12:36 p.m. and found several shell casings strewn across the intersection. The suspects had fled the scene before officers arrived. There were no victims present, police said.

The shooters apparently fled the scene in a car, and police located a matching vehicle shortly after, according to LBPD spokesperson Brandon Fahey. Officers took two men inside into custody, he said.

Gio Perez, 20, said he came out of his home at the intersection after hearing several gunshots.

Perez grew up in the neighborhood and said gun violence has been getting worse. “We used to be able to play outside, now you can’t even play outside no more,” he said.

Just a few days ago, on Friday, a man was shot and critically injured two blocks south of the same intersection.

Long Beach as a whole has seen an elevated number of shootings since the beginning of the pandemic, with this year’s numbers on pace to exceed those of 2020. Last year, Willmore was among the city’s most heavily affected neighborhoods.

According to Fahey, the motive for Thursday’s shooting is still unknown and gang detectives have been dispatched to the scene to assist with the ongoing investigation.

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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.