Washington Middle School Neighborhood Homicide: Man Is Shot To Death In 200 block W. 15th St. (CD 1/Zendejas)
(Oct. 27, 2021) -- A man (adult) was shot to death last night in the Washington Middle School neighborhood (about a block north of 14th St. Park, CD1/Zendejas).
In initial information, LBPD Watch Commander Lt. Stephanie Hall says that at about 9:40 p.m. on Oct. 26, LBPD responded to a shooting in the 200 block of W. 15th St. (near Pacific Ave.) and found a man with gunshot wounds. LBFD transported him to a hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
[update] In a subsequent release (Oct. 27), LBPD says the victim was riding or walking his bicycle on 15th St. near Pacific Ave. when an unknown male suspect confronted him. The two engaged in a verbal argument, followed by the suspect firing multiple shots at the victim. The suspect was last seen entering the passenger side of a newer sedab last seen fleeing northblnd on Pacific Ave. from 15th St. [update]
CD 1, a working class neighborhood a little over a mile due north of LB's gleaming new Civic Center, has had the highest number of shootings (total fatal + woundings + casings found) since Jan. 1, 2021. Since taking office, its current Council incumbent, Mary Zendejas, voted for City Hall budgets that defunded roughly 50 LBPD officers, failed to restore funding for LBPD's former field anti-gang unit and left LB without roughly 200+ officers defunded by previous Councils (that included then-Councilman/Vice Mayor Garcia (2009-2014.)
In 2022, Zendejas will face election challenger Lee Richmond Charley who has criticized her record on multiple grounds, including public safety, and has deplored the way in which Zendejas gained Council office.
Zendejas was elected in a no-runoff Nov. 2019 special election to fill a Council vacancy when prior CD 1 incumbent Lena Gonzalez was elected to the state Senate. In September 2019, Mayor Garcia, now-state Senator Gonzalez and the LB Police Officers Association PAC bypassed LB's voter-enacted contribution limits to candidate campaigns by giving $10,000 each to the LB Firefighters Ass'n PAC which then used the sum to run an "independent expenditure" campaign (not legally bound by candidate contribution limits) to support to support electing Zendejas in LB's Nov. 5 no-runoff 1st Council district special election.
The result gave a $30,000 boost to Zendejas on top of over $100,000 her campaign had collected from various corporate/development interests, their paid lobbyists and organized labor. It helped produce 858 votes for Zendejas (in a multi-candidate race in a district with roughly 50,000 residents) sufficient to install her on the Council.
"Zendejas should never have been elected," Mr. Charley said. "CD1 deserves better. I won't tolerate the neighborhood conditions she has allowed."
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