Surfing Soapbox: The sounds of gunfire

What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday, sitting atop the Roof Top and enjoying lunch with a few friends, we couldn’t help but enjoy the view and the marvelous sunny day before us. But just down the road, to the north of us, was an entirely different scene. For the second time in five days, a high-speed chase had ended in a crash, only blocks apart of each other.

Sadly, this one was even worse as Laguna Beach police ended up shooting the suspect, before he had an opportunity to potentially harm more people.

Given his allegedly erratic, high-speed and dangerous way of driving, I think we are lucky that more people were not injured, or worse, killed.

Shootings for the most part are rare in Laguna but, boy, do they always seem to have some weird twist to them.


There was the Montage resort shooting a few years ago, and the erratic behavior of a couple that had checked in the night before, paying cash. That ended sadly with the woman pointing a gun at police.

Then there was the New Year’s Day shooting two years ago in front of the El Ranchito, when the driver shot at police while driving south on the highway.

All of these shootings happened in broad daylight and out in public. What’s even scarier is hearing kids talk about Tuesday’s shooting, and that when they heard the gunfire that they all began running toward it. To see what’s happening? I’m not sure what the allure is in running toward gunfire.

Maybe we’re just not well conditioned in how the public needs to react in these situations, because shootings are rare happenings in Laguna Beach? Now I’m no gun expert, but if I hear gunfire, I’m hitting the ground and not running toward it. Neither should you. Peace.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha