STUDIO CITY—On Friday, July 24, a shooting incident at Laurel Canyon and Ventura Boulevards have residents reacting to the news.
At approximately 3:20 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to reports of a shooter at the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Ventura. After a brief altercation, during which the gunman refused to surrender his weapon, officers shot and killed the suspect. The bomb squad was later called to deal with two suspicious items the man was carrying.
Cinthea Stahl, who was doing business in a nearby Chase Bank when the incident occurred, told Canyon News how frightening it was to witness the scene. “As soon as I heard that there was an active shooter situation, I moved as far away from the windows as possible,” she said. “There was no real information as to how many people with guns were involved, whether it was a one person action or a multi-person action, if this person was on the street, if there were bombs.”
The thing that surprised Stahl the most, she said, was the reaction of other bystanders in the aftermath of the event. “People were busy with their phones, trying to get selfies and take pictures instead of thinking, ‘I should go away from something that could explode or someone who could shoot me’,” she told Canyon News. “While the cops were putting up barricades, trying to get drivers out of the area, there were many, many people gathered on the corner, trying to see what was happening.”
Stahl’s daughter, Alexandra Stahl, added that this is not the first shooting incident that’s affected them. “One time, I was walking home and there were six helicopters just hovering over my neighborhood,” Alexandra recalled. “I found out later that they were all covering a shooting situation nearby.
“Another time, my mom and I got stuck in really bad traffic on Laurel Canyon,” she continued. “It turned out that there was a guy with an automatic weapon at the top of the pass, and that was what had stopped traffic.”
These incidents have impacted Alexandra. “It happens all the time, and it’s scary!” she said. “I don’t even live in a particularly bad neighborhood, but I’m always worried that another shooting could happen, and that I could be involved in it.”
Another resident, Hayley Lennon, whose elderly grandparents live two blocks away from the July 24 shooting, expressed her frustration. “What I find most absurd about the situation,” Lennon said, “is that that this is the third public shooting incident—that I know of—this week. And yet the only shooting that Congress has responded to is the one that gave them an excuse to crack down on immigration.” Lennon referred to the July 1 shooting in San Francisco that resulted the House of Representatives passing a bill to penalize so-called “sanctuary cities” like Los Angeles.
“It’s easy to look at these things happening in the news and think, ‘that doesn’t happen in my city’,” Lennon added, “but today was a wake-up call. I really hope our public officials have the courage to react responsibly in the wake of this almost-tragedy.”