1 dead, 15 hurt as man drives car on beachfront boardwalk
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — The 15 people injured when a motorist sped down the Venice Beach boardwalk over the weekend are out of the hospital, a Los Angeles police spokesman said Monday.
Public information officer Gregory Baek also confirmed the death of a woman, killed during the mayhem on Saturday night.
A Los Angeles County coroner’s office spokeswoman identified the dead woman as Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy. Her husband told police they were on their honeymoon, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Police charged Nathan Campbell with murder after he turned himself in to police hours after the incident. The 38-year-old, described by police as a transient, is being held on a $1 million bond.
A witness said the suspect looked like he wanted “to create mayhem and massacre a lot of people,”
“There no indication that he knew anybody that he hit,” LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said. “It looks like this guy wanted to run over a bunch of people. One guy bent on doing evil.”
The driver eventually stopped the car and ran away.
“It was horrible. I mean it was like something out of a movie, something you would never expect to see,” witness Katherine Blackburn told CNN affiliate KABC.
It was two hours before sunset on a beautiful Saturday evening — one of the busiest times of the week at the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
“This guy had an intent to create mayhem and massacre a lot of people,” Dave Blackburn told CNN affiliate KCAL.
The Blackburn family was dining on the sidewalk patio of the Candle Cafe & Grill when they saw a man get into a parked car and drive it around a corner onto the crowded boardwalk.
“The boardwalk was packed with people, and he sped up and purposefully — it looked like purposefully — was just swerving back and forth to run over as many people as he could,” said Laura Blackburn.
Los Angeles police robbery-homicide detectives are leading the investigation.
“There were people flying, laying on the ground, tents flying everywhere. If he wanted to kill people, he came on a perfect time, 5 p.m. on a Saturday in the summer in Venice Beach,” Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Numerous victims were hauled away on stretchers, their legs covered with blood, KCAL reported.
The crash took place on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, a popular tourist attraction on the west side of Los Angeles lined with hundreds of street vendors and performers.
This isn’t the first time someone drove into a crowd of pedestrians in Southern California.
In 2003, an elderly man accidentally plowed his car through a busy farmer’s market in nearby Santa Monica, killing 10 people and injuring 69.