People walking in a parade
Santa Monica's parade was fun for all involved Credit: Matthew Hall

The Independence Day holiday brought some welcome sunshine and jovial crowds to Santa Monica but in contrast to the national trends, the day was relatively calm and free of serious incidents. 

Over the holiday weekend, the Santa Monica Fire Department responded to approximately 13 reports of various trash fires, outside fires, and structure fire calls. Of those responses, only six were actual fires and the department said they  were minor in nature and suppressed quickly. There were no reports of firework related injuries or fires. 

The Santa Monica Police Department said they had no reports of unusual incidents. The Department received 303 calls for service on July 4 compared to 291 calls on the prior Tuesday. The department said they had no reports of lost dogs impounded over the holiday and a single report of gunshots that turned out to be unfounded. 

Santa Monica’s safe celebration was not shared by others locally or nationally. 

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a shooting just north of Venice on July 4 that injured three individuals. According to LAPD, two men were arguing when the suspect shot the first victim. A second gunman then opened fire on the first shooter. One suspect was arrested but was described as “uncooperative” and the second escaped on foot. 

Just down the freeway, a home invasion robbery turned violent when a suspect broke into a home and shot the homeowners dog in the head. That suspect also fled on foot. 

In many other places, holiday shootings were linked to outdoor celebrations, spiking fears in communities across the country and highlighting the challenges police face in preventing such violence as temperatures warm and festivities move outside. Policing such events is a delicate balance for law enforcement, who must weigh the right of revelers to gather with the threat of violence that looms in public and private spaces in a nation awash with guns.

The gun violence that flared this week in Washington, D.C, Louisiana, Florida, Philadelphia, Texas and Baltimore left more than a dozen dead and almost 60 wounded — including children as young as 2 years old.

The wave of killings came as the Chicago suburb of Highland Park was marking the anniversary of last year’s mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade that left seven people dead. Security was tight at events aimed at honoring those killed, and the day was capped by a drone show instead of fireworks to avoid the noise that could sound like gunfire.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the gun violence Wednesday, urging Congress to pass a ban on so-called assault weapons and placing blame on the proliferation of guns in the U.S.

“Lives are at stake here, folks. Lives are at stake in communities, the lives of our kids,” she said.

Anyone with information regarding the Los Angeles crimes was urged to call 877-527-3247. Tipsters who choose to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 800- 222-8477.

The Westside Current and AP contributed to this report.

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...