A woman in an East Pasadena park on Tuesday when a shootout erupted between police and a fleeing suspect said the incident has left her shaken.
Police officers responded to shots fired about 2:35 p.m. to the 600 block of Sunnyslope Avenue, near East Orange Grove Boulevard.
The unidentified suspect fatally shot a 70-year-old man and attempted to carjack two women, briefly taking one of them hostage, according to police.
The suspect exchanged gunfire with the police, and was killed at the scene. It is unclear if he was felled by police or committed suicide, authorities said.
Pasadena native Paola Lomeli was part of a Zoom meeting in Sunnyslope Park when the shots broke out.
“It was about 2:30 p.m. when I heard the first round of gunshots,” she said. “About 10 seconds later the next round went off. There was a brief pause. Within a minute I heard police approaching the area. Within the next five minutes, I heard three more gunshots. Instantly police closed down the area and rerouted traffic.”
The suspect tried to flee from police by jumping into a woman’s car and attempted to steal the vehicle. When that effort failed, the man exchanged gunfire with police before running down Sunnyslope Avenue, police said.
At one point during the incident, the suspect took a second woman hostage at gunpoint. She was ultimately rescued, unharmed.
Meanwhile, Lomeli said once she began reading media reports on the incident, she realized she was just a few feet away from the incident.
“The gunfire alone was very scary as it’s happening all over town right now,” Lomeli told Pasadena Now.
There have been more than half a dozen shootings since late October that have now left four people dead, including the suspect and the victim in yesterday’s shooting.
Last Saturday, 13-year-old Iran Moreno was fatally shot by a stray bullet while playing video games inside his home.
Late last month, Jamal Dion Patterson died at a hospital after he was fatally wounded in a shooting in the 1000 block of Summit Avenue.
“Violence interrupter” and gang interventionist Ricky Pickens said in the wake of the shootings, the community is in the grip of three emotions: grief, fear, and divisiveness.
Pickens said the city is mourning the loss of young Iran last weekend. Residents are fearful as the gun violence continues and erupted in a new neighborhood Tuesday. Also, there is also a feeling of division among residents as to how to identify solutions and/or approaches that will turn the tide and stop the bloodshed.
The shooting in East Pasadena left many local residents surprised since the shootings have largely been centered in Northwest Pasadena.
Police said Tuesday’s shooting is not connected to the recent incidents.
“Shootings can happen anywhere in the city,” said Deputy Police Chief Cheryl Moody. “We are providing more outreach and wraparound services to those impacted by violence.”
Moody said local police are undergoing continued and ongoing training to respond to active shootings and are reminding the community to call in suspicious persons and activities.”
“We’re all going through this together,” said District 4 City Councilmember Gene Masuda, who represents the East Pasadena area. “It’s always a tragedy when violence in our city takes place because we all value public safety and the wellbeing of our community. We’re grateful that our police officers move quickly to restore law and order.”
Masuda said he was kept abreast of the situation as it unfolded.
Although Lomeli said police were on the scene quickly, she is still concerned about the increase in gun violence.
“It’s not getting better at all. It will never die down. I truly believe authorities are outnumbered,” she said.