Police are still figuring out how a Santa Monica man ended up with a gunshot wound to his face early Monday.

A friend of the victim who lives in New York called NYPD shortly before 6 a.m. to report his friend had been shot in Santa Monica and the victim was outside a JP’s Bar. When local police got to JP’s the victim was waiting outside the bar, which had been closed for hours. Police believe the shooting may have happened around 3 a.m.

Police cars surrounded JP’s Sports Bar and Grill near 11th and Wilshire Blvd as commuters headed into work Monday morning. Hours later, Lt. Saul Rodriguez said the SMPD forensics team found no evidence that the shooting happened inside or outside the bar.

“There’s a lot of vagueness for us,” Lt. Rodriguez said. “We’re trying to find out what indeed happened.”

Despite the proximity of the wound to the victim’s mouth, Lt. Rodriguez says it was considered a “minor gunshot wound” and the victim was listed in fair condition at the hospital. Lt. Rodriguez says there are no suspects in the case and police are working to confirm the victim’s statements. The victim lives in the Mid-City neighborhood just a few blocks away from the bar.

Calls to JP’s by the Daily Press were not returned, but a manager reportedly told police he did not believe the incident happened inside the bar. JP’s is a popular dive bar that is open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Anyone with more information should call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8449.

kate@smdp.com

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