Hermosa Beach Pier brawl video fuels fear loud ‘bang’ was gunshot
by Kevin Cody
Video by multiple passersby of a brawl on Pier Plaza in Hermosa Beach early Sunday morning, September 3, includes what Hermosa Police describe in a post on the department’s Facebook page as “a loud bang.”
The police post states “plaza patrons react as if they heard a gunshot,” but adds, “Other than a loud bang, there is currently no additional evidence or video indicating there was a shooting.”
The police Facebook post concludes, “…our investigation will be suspended unless additional information is made available.”
The videos’ social media exposure elicited widespread resident concern that the “bang” was a gunshot.
Alex Baik is among those who believe the bang was a gunshot.
Baik has lived on Palm Drive, at the corner of Pier Avenue for 26 years. Baik was sitting on his porch when he heard the “bang.” He ran down Pier Avenue toward the Plaza as people were fleeing up Pier Avenue, he said.
“It was a gunshot, a pistol round,” Baik said. He further described the bang as a “subsonic round”(ammunition designed to operate below the speed of sound).
Baik said he has been shooting guns since he was eight, and shooting competitively for over 20 years. He practices shooting three times a week, and assembles guns as a hobby, he said.
Baik’s father, a retired Los Angeles Police Department officer, organized the “Rooftop Koreans” who protected Korea town during the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
The Police Department Facebook post headlined, “Incident of Interest,” begins by stating,
“HBPD has been conducting follow-up to the incident on Pier Plaza and in an effort to keep non factual information from spreading we are updating the community with the information below.”
The Police Facebook post continues with a chronology of the brawl.
“On 9/3/23 at approximately 02:20:17 am two groups of people started fighting next to the Bank of America. @ 02:20:42 a loud bang is heard and plaza patrons react as if they heard a gunshot. People immediately begin scattering and leaving the area. @ 02:21:45 (1 minute and 3 seconds after the noise is heard) HBPD Officers arrive on scene and run in the direction of the disturbance where they located an injured subject.
“The subject was NOT shot, but had suffered injuries during the fight. The injured party was transported by ambulance for medical treatment and released later in the morning. The injured party told officers that they do not want to prosecute the suspects, and does not want any further action taken.”
In response to concerns about the “bang,” the police Facebook post states, “As of 9/4/23: No gunshot victims have come forward. Surrounding hospitals were contacted and there were no reports of gunshot victims being admitted. Other than a loud bang, there is currently no additional evidence or video indicating there was a shooting. There are no subjects seen pointing a gun, no eye witnesses came forward reporting ‘seeing’ a gun, there was no physical evidence of a shooting, and our officers checked the area immediately after the report (no victims, no casings located, no smell of gunpowder in the air, no fragments, no damage reported to date from gunfire).”
The police Facebook post concludes: “We will continue to look for any evidence of a shooting based on more videos or if anyone else comes forward. Due to minor injuries sustained by the victim, the unwillingness to prosecute the suspects, and the lack of physical evidence to raise this crime to a felony level, our investigation will be suspended unless additional information is made available.” ER