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    LBPD Makes Swift Arrest In East Village Area Shooting, 500 block E. Broadway (near Atlantic); Suspect Taken Into Custody @ Lakewood Mall In Less Than 24 Hrs.

    (October 10, 2004, follow-up to a.m. post) -- Less than 24 hours after a shooting rocked LB's trendy "East Village" area, LBPD has a suspect in custody.

    LBPD Public Information Officer Nancy Pratt tells that Thomas Soncraft, 44, of Las Vegas, NV was arrested at the Lakewood Mall at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10...and a handgun allegedly used in the crime, plus a rifle and ammunition for both weapons, were also recovered.

    Suspect Soncraft is alleged to have entered a restaurant in the 500 block of East Broadway on Saturday October 9 at approximately 8:12 p.m., walked up to an employee and fired a weapon, striking a male victim. The victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition. The suspect fled into the night.

    As we first reported this morning, LBPD Homicide Detectives were actively working the case as we posted...and PIO Pratt credited "tenacious work by Homicide Detectives which ultimately led to the suspect."

    LBPD says it appears the suspect was stalking the victim, but PIO Pratt cautioned that a personal relationship does not appear involved...and noted that the crime of stalking can apply in other situations.

    The suspect is being held on $1 million bail on charges of attempted murder.

    The Oct. 9 Saturday night shooting took place on the eve of Sunday's LB Marathon, whose course winds a few blocks away.

    As previously reported by, the East Village area has recently suffered other shootings. PIO Pratt says she has no information indicating these were related to the October 9 crime.

    On September 26 a 32 year-old LB resident was fatally shot in the area of 3d St. and Elm Ave. The killing took place not far from where LB officials welcomed dignitaries to a convention of America's ports.

    On September 16, a double-shooting occurred just north of the East Village in the 700 block of Lime Ave. Two LB residents were struck by gunfire, one of whom (age 39) succumbed to his wounds. The crime took place not far from where LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill and officials statewide gathered for a League of California Cities event.

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