A man who was found dead in Palisades Park this week appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

The circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation and SMPD has not determined if the death was an intentional suicide or an accident.

According to SMPD, officers were called to the west side of 1700 block of Ocean Ave. (near Tongva Park) at about 10:48 on Aug. 27 for a report of a man firing a handgun into the air. The suspect in that call was described as a Black man, about 180lbs, wearing a grey hoodie, white shirt, black pants and with a black backpack.

Officers recovered a spent casing at the location but the suspect, who was not involved in any disturbance prior to shooting, had left southbound prior to officers’ arrival.

About 20 minutes later, a second call came in for shots fired in the 1500 block of Palisades Park (about two blocks from the first call). The caller reported that she “saw a male shooting and then shot himself in the face.”

Officers located a victim down at the bottom of the Broadway stairs near PCH who was not breathing and with a gunshot wound. The victim matched the clothing and physical description of the shooter from the earlier call on Ocean Ave. Preliminary investigation indicates the two incidents are possibly related. 

In a statement, SMPD said the victim has an address in Los Angeles but was currently homeless.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Chabot at 310-458-6679, Detective Sergeant Gradle at ryan.gradle@santamonica.gov, or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427. 

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.