Violent weekend in Hollywood area capped by 2 overnight shootings

Violent weekend in Hollywood area capped by 2 overnight shootings
After a deadly shooting over the weekend at Monalizza restaurant in East Hollywood, police responded to two more shooting incidents early Monday in Hollywood. (KTLA-TV Channel 5)

A spate of violence in Hollywood over the weekend spilled into Monday morning when Los Angeles police on foot patrol reported two separate shootings but found no victims and no gunmen.

Officers patrolling near Hollywood Boulevard and North Las Palmas Avenue reported hearing gunshots at about 2:15 a.m. and called for backup, police said.


As authorities flooded the area, more gunshots rang out -- this time at a nearby parking structure, said Sgt. Gary Newton of the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division.

Officers rushed to the structure and found bullet shell casings but no victims and no shooter. Detectives combing the area also found casings at another parking lot.

"Detectives are on it," he added.

The incident capped a violent few days in the Hollywood area.

Early Sunday, one person was killed and four others were injured in East Hollywood after a man opened fire at a party before the Black Entertainment Television awards later that day.

According to police, a gunman fired several rounds at 5:17 a.m., at Monalizza, a restaurant and banquet hall in the 1100 block of North Vermont Avenue. Several clubgoers were wounded and rushed to local hospitals. Lavell Smith, 33, was shot multiple times in the incident and pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Just hours earlier and a few miles away, a person was stabbed at Lure nightclub in the 1400 block of Ivar Avenue. Police linked the nightclub event to the BET Awards, but award show officials firmly denied the two gatherings were tied to the awards.

"The two isolated incidents over the weekend occurred at locations with events that were unauthorized and unaffiliated with the BET Awards," according to a statement provided by publicist Shawn Purdy.

"Security remains the No. 1 priority for all official BET events and the network and all organizers will continue to maintain a safe environment for all planned activities."

According to a Times analysis of crime statistics, there have also been three robberies and an aggravated assault in Hollywood and East Hollywood since Thursday.

Smith's death was the fifth homicide in East Hollywood this year, according to the Homicide Report. On June 5, a 19-year-old man was shot to death while walking in the 4300 block of West Sunset Boulevard.

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