As Monday’s City Council meeting was winding down, police released video of the shooting incident in East Pasadena that left two people dead, including the shooter, Devin Edward Hall.
The released footage included 911 calls, doorbell footage and body worn camera and police cruiser footage.
In several 911 calls, witnesses described the same person with a gun. One homeowner even reported he pointed his gun at her family as he fled into their backyard.
Others saw him fire the weapon, and one woman reportedly witnessed Hall fatally shoot Pasadena resident Gevork Minissian, 70.
Sure there will be questions regarding the department’s handling of the situation and undoubtedly more information will be released in the days ahead.
This one, however, is simple to understand: for reasons unknown at this time, and they may never be known, on November 23 Hall began shooting and terrified an East Pasadena neighborhood until he was fatally shot.
He took one terrified woman hostage who can be heard screaming in the footage, attempted to carjack another, aimed his weapon at a car and fired on police officers.
Another woman whose baby was crying reported the gunfire and then asked police where the shooter was so she could have some idea of just how close the danger was to her and her child.
It doesn’t matter if you like the police or not, the man in the blue shirt and the khakis had a gun. He fatally shot one man and took a woman hostage.
The police officers are not play acting while they are ducking behind trees with weapons drawn and yelling for Hall to let the woman go and drop the weapon.
We all hear the phrase police accountability bandied about over and over. Somehow at Monday’s meeting it was even tossed around over new SUVs for the department, which made no sense whatsoever.
It’s a good thing, the accountability part, not the nonsensical part, about not buying the SUVs.
Let’s hold the police accountable, but people who take actions like Hall should be held accountable also and not excused by conspiracy theorists.
So yes, ask questions when the police fire their weapons. That’s your right, exercise it.
When police use force, certain accountability mechanisms should be activated, and yes, in some cases that includes criminal charges if necessary.
And yes, the community has the right to ask questions and receive answers in critical incidents.
But also ask why Devin Edward Hall decided to open fire in that neighborhood forcing residents to cower in their homes while police spread out across multiple crime scenes to stop a tragic situation from becoming far worse.
And don’t just stop there.
The person responsible for the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Iran Moreno Balvaneda, who was fatally shot while playing video games when the bullet went through his window and struck him should also be held accountable.
In October, community members attended a meeting about the increase in gun violence. A short time later, there was a press conference and vigil in Villa Parke after Iran was fatally shot.
All fine and good.
But what do we do now to make sure that no one picks up a gun and calmly walks through a neighborhood like Hall?
Just because the violence has stopped it does not mean the problem has gone away.