Santa Cruz police were busy responding to a shooting and a reported 30-person brawl in downtown over Memorial Day weekend.
At approximately 12:23am Monday, May 31, the Santa Cruz Police Department responded to several reports of multiple gunshots on the 100 block of Elm Street at Pacific Avenue. Upon arrival, SCPD cordoned off the area and found roughly 20 shell casings, according to a post on its Facebook.
As of now, there are no known injuries and no arrests have been made. Police are asking for anyone with information regarding the shooting to contact them as the investigation is ongoing.
“As of right now information is very limited and we are still following up,” says SCPD Sgt. Brad Burruel.
According to Taylor Posey, who was patronizing the Blue Lagoon half a block from the shooting, the police response was quick and efficient.
“Nobody knew something had happened until we looked out the door and saw all the cops,” he says, adding the police immediately cleared Pacific Avenue and made patrons go inside with the doors locked until the scene was safe.
“It was stressful but I felt pretty safe and thought it was handled well by the Blue [Lagoon] security and the police,” Posey adds.
Roughly 48 hours earlier, SCPD responded to reports of a massive brawl outside of the Red Room sometime around 1:30am on Saturday.
“There were reports it was a large fight of roughly around 30 people,” says Sgt. Burruel who was on the scene.
According to Burruel, by the time SCPD arrived the fight had cleared. Again, no injuries were reported, no arrests were made and it is unclear if the suspects involved were locals or from out of the area.
After a year of shutdowns, closures and quarantines, there has been a 49% increase in violent crimes over the first quarter of the year when compared to the same time last year, according to the Santa Cruz Police’s Uniform Crime Report.
Burruel says SCPD is preparing for an increase in tourists this summer, which means an increase in heightened security as well.
“We are very aware and currently taking steps to prepare for a significant increase compared to last summer,” he tells GT. “But to what extent I cannot go into more detail.”
If you have any information about either of these incidents you can contact the Santa Cruz Police Department investigators at 831-420-5820 or leave information anonymously on the Crime Tip Line at 831-420-5995.