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Venice Boardwalk Shooting Happening During Flash Mob Organized Using Twitter

tweets-venice311.jpg
Tweets before the event as captured by Venice311
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The man wounded in a shooting on the Venice Boardwalk Saturday night was struck during the course of a flash mob gathering that had been organized using Twitter, reports the LA Times. The victim, said to be in his mid-20s, received a gunshot wound in the head and was listed in critical condition following the shooting.The flash mob was organized using Twitter, and word had been spread during the day leading up to the incident on the social media site that indicated there were brewing gang tensions among those planning to attend. Alexandria Thompson of Venice311 spoke to the Times, and explained she notified the authorities early on Saturday of the chatter about the plans for several people to converge on Ocean Front Walk at the basketball courts.

Venice311 blogged:

Communications between groups on twitter and circulated via twitter regarding meeting at the basketball courts on Friday, the night before the shooting included gang related language, and police at the scene of the shooting and at the subsequent vehicle stop near McDonalds on Lincoln confirmed the long standing red and blue rivalry as part of the Saturday Ocean Front Walk incident.

The Los Angeles Police Department sent out reinforcements to handle the crowd, which included attendees "in gang attire and tattoos." Shots were fired by the as-yet unknown perp at around 6:30 p.m. The victim, whose identity has not been released, ran about a half-block from the scene before collapsing.

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Following the shooting the crowd dispersed quickly; some people went into stores to hide, while others waited in groups at bus stops. According to Thompson of Venice311, "some in the mob ran away backward so they could continue to watch the action," notes the Times. Thompson said they were laughing as they fled.

"Where 'flash mobs' originally started out as dance or artistic gatherings promoted through social media," explains Venice311, "law enforcement nationwide has reported the trend now being implemented in crime and criminal diversion activity."

No information about the suspect or suspects or further information about the victim has been made available.