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    Man Fatally Shot, Another Wounded, 14th St. West of LB Blvd.

    (May 16, 2005) -- LBPD says that on May 15th at 12:10 a.m., a man walked up to a vehicle parked on 14th St. just west of LB Blvd. and fired multiple shots into the vehicle in which a man, a male relative and a woman were seated.

    The two men were hit. One of the men managed to drive off...but crashed into a light pole at 14th St. and LB Blvd.

    LBFD transported both men to a hospital...where 26 year-old shooting victim Maurice Brown died; the other victim was listed in serious condition.

    LBPD says a motive for the shooting is still under investigation.

    The neighborhood borders the eastern end of "14th St. Park" (on Parks & Rec's web site termed a "playground" on a wide street median from Chestnut to Locust Aves.; locals say it extends east to almost to LB Blvd.) where city officials recently announced a pilot program that includes closing the park at dusk as a community safety measure.

    "Closing the park at dusk is just one of the strategies to be employed in the neighborhood to fight crime and make the park safe for families in the neighborhood," Concilwoman Lowenthal said in a May 12 release.

    Better Balance for Long Beach, an activist group that has said City Hall previously let nuisance and law-flouting activities in the area go unabated, commended LB officials for recent actions being taken to address chronic problems.

    "We have seen signs of progress. Some problems are being addressed by city staff," said Better Balance co-founder Jane Kelleher.

    But Ms. Kelleher added that "today's conditions are the result of letting neighborhood problems fester. That atmosphere invited the latest shooting and others."

    Ms. Kelleher said that "Summer Fun Day" and "Summer Food" programs, both mentioned in Councilwoman Lowenthal's release announcing the new pilot program, are programs that have occurred annually in the area for years.

    "We want to see more meaningful change," Ms. Kelleher said.

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