AFTERMATH OF THE RIOTS : The Violence Started in Long Beach Even Before the Verdicts Were Announced

Compiled by Susan Paterno

Here is a chronology of the violence in Long Beach after not guilty verdicts in the Rodney G. King case.


* 3 p.m.: A few minutes before the verdicts were announced, about 50 people began breaking windows at the Long Beach mall. The crowd proceeded down Long Beach Boulevard to 10th Street, breaking store windows and stealing merchandise. More people joined in as the crowd reached Anaheim Street. Two people were arrested.

* 6 p.m.: At Long Beach Police roll call, the King verdict was not mentioned.

* Evening: Ten buildings burned and four people were assaulted in sporadic rioting in central and north Long Beach.


* 12:21 a.m.: The first Molotov cocktail was hurled--damaging a building at the corner of Artesia Boulevard and Muriel Avenue.


* 5:02 a.m.: John’s Hamburgers, 5815 Downey Blvd., was burned to the ground.

* 6 a.m.: Fire officials reported blazes in seven buildings.

* Noon: At Wilson High School, about 200 students were involved in a racially motivated brawl. Six students were treated for cuts and bruises.

* 12:51 p.m.: A market and beauty salon, part of a shopping mall at 52nd Street and Atlantic Boulevard, was destroyed by fire.

* 1:30 p.m.: Long Beach school officials decided to cancel Friday classes.

* 2 p.m.: Mayor Ernie Kell was briefed by the city manager and police chief and announced that there was no reason for store owners to close early. Within the hour, Long Beach Plaza and Bank of America closed.

* 2:20 p.m.: An unidentified gunman fired shots at a store at 5230 Long Beach Blvd. Police said they were unable to determine whether there were any injuries.

* 3:30 p.m.: About 100 people, mostly teens, went on a rock-throwing spree, breaking windows at Vons supermarket at 10th Street and Long Beach Boulevard.

* 4:41 p.m.: A mini-mall at 6665 Long Beach Blvd. was ablaze.

* 5:30 p.m.: Kell was told by city and police officials that the situation was normal. He left for dinner in Bellflower.

* 5:55 p.m.: Fire destroyed Hanson’s Market at 20th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

* About 6 p.m.: Two stabbings were reported within minutes of each other. One person was stabbed at 2400 E. Pacific Coast Highway; a few minutes later, another stabbing occurred at 10th Street and Atlantic Boulevard.

* 6:30 p.m.: City Manager James C. Hankla declared a state of emergency and imposed a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. He requested additional help from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols two sections of the city, and the National Guard. The sheriff sent 110 officers in response. The National Guard didn’t arrive until the next day. Matthew Haines, 32, on his way to help a friend, was dragged by 15 men from his motorcycle at the corner of Lemon Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. He was beaten, kicked and fatally shot in the head. His nephew was shot but survived.

* 6:38 p.m.: Paramedics were called to assist two more assault victims at 825 Alamitos Blvd. and 600 Loma Ave.

* 7:04 p.m.: A shooting occurred at 7th Street and Walnut Avenue. In the next hour, two more assaults occur in the neighborhood.

* 7:21 p.m.: Looters smashed windows and doors at the Lucky supermarket at 20th Street and Atlantic Boulevard. They took food and merchandise.

* 8 p.m.: On Long Beach Boulevard, Jones Bicycles was looted. A customer recovered his bike from the store and extinguished a fire, saving the shop from destruction. Harried fire and police officials were receiving one call a minute for units to respond to fires, shootings and assaults.

* 9:04 p.m.: Looters sacked Pic N Save at 7th Street and Junipero Avenue.

* 9:37 p.m.: Danica furniture store at Burnett Street and Long Beach Boulevard began burning after several hours of looting.

* 11:01 p.m.: A major fire broke out at the Department of Motor Vehicles building at Pacific Avenue and Willow Street. Soon after, Eddie’s Market at 4th Street and Bonito Avenue was destroyed by fire.

* About midnight: Kell took a helicopter tour of the city and witnessed snipers shooting at firefighters.


* Between midnight and 2 a.m.: Major fires erupted in businesses along Orange Avenue at 52nd Street, and on 4th and 7th streets. Other major fires were reported at Willow Street and Easy Avenue, Santa Fe Avenue and Spring Street, 4th Street and Daisy Avenue, stretching firefighters to the limit.

* 1 p.m.: Officials said more than 80 fires had occurred so far that day throughout north and central Long Beach. Community leaders gathered at the Gospel Memorial Church of God in central Long Beach to discuss how to stop the violence.

* 3 p.m.: About 90 National Guard troops arrived and set up a command center in a parking lot at Long Beach Plaza.

* 4 p.m.: Police announced that arrests had reached 340; county prosecutors say they have filed felony charges against 72 defendants, setting bail at a minimum of $10,000. Few are able to make the bail.

* 6 p.m.: Troops joined 300 local law enforcement officers patrolling the city in riot gear. Two dozen pastors fanned out to appeal for calm.

* 11:54 p.m.: The last of the day’s 165 fires was reported at 21st Street and Pacific Avenue. In the last 24 hours, firefighters battled 179 blazes and responded to 22 emergency medical calls.


* Early morning: The number of fires and other incidents began to decline. Eleven building fires were reported. Police responded to two stabbings near 15th Street and Walnut Avenue and an assault at 967 E. Broadway.

* 6 a.m.: Cleanup began in the Pacific Avenue business district, where 125 people shoveled debris.

* 10 a.m.: The Long Beach City Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the late arrival of National Guard troops.

* 3 p.m.: More than 200 Marines arrived to relieve other troops.

* 5:43 p.m.: One of the day’s worst fires erupted at Foodland at Willard Street and Pacific Avenue. County prosecutors filed felony charges against 106 people.

* 10:14 p.m.: Firefighters battled a major blaze at a Cambodian market and travel agency, Anaheim Boulevard and Raymond Avenue.


* Throughout the day: Reports of riot-related incidents were down significantly. Fourteen fires were reported, but only one--at 927 Long Beach Blvd.--was considered major. County prosecutors filed felony charges against 37 defendants. City prosecutors filed curfew violation charges against 78 people.