Waiverly Thomas (Photo courtesy SMPD)

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Police have identified the man suspected of shooting an 18-year-old woman on Saturday night as Waiverly Thomas of Colton, Calif.

Police believe that Thomas, 31, opened fire on the woman, who ran from a memorial car wash on 19th Street and Pico Boulevard and jumped into a stranger’s car to flee.

Police caught Thomas at Delaware Avenue and 16th Street an hour later as he attempted to leave the area driving a 2010 Chevy Impala. Officers also found a handgun believed to have been used in the crime.

Thomas was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, and is expected to be in court on Tuesday, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, a spokesperson for the Santa Monica Police Department.

A woman was in the car with him, but she was not taken into custody, Lewis said.

The victim, whom police did not identify, sustained multiple gunshot wounds, but is expected to survive. The driver of her getaway car — a large truck with four wheels on the back axle and two in the front — was uninjured, Lewis said.

The man drove the unidentified woman to the northeast corner of Lincoln and Pico boulevards and called 9-1-1. Paramedics from the Santa Monica Fire Department treated her and took her to a local hospital.

The victim has refused to cooperate with police on the investigation, Lewis said.

The shooting comes at a time of relative peace in Santa Monica.

In October, police reported that violent crime had dropped compared to the year before, with aggravated assaults down 11 percent and sexual assaults down 6 percent, despite an expansion in the definition used by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, which compiles crime statistics for its Uniform Crime Report.

The last shooting in Santa Monica occurred almost a year before when a 16-year-old Santa Monica High School student was shot multiple times in the upper torso on his way home from school.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Daniel Larios at (310) 458-8937 or Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or, the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.

Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from your mobile, or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.

 

ashley@smdp.com