A Venice boardwalk suspect accused of plowing into a group of pedestrians appeared to be intentionally targeting them, witnesses of the deadly accident say.
The boardwalk was filled with pedestrians and activity at close to 6 pm on Saturday when a man driving a Dodge Avenger sped onto the boardwalk and rammed into crowds. The incident left 11 people injured, and a woman celebrating her honeymoon was killed.
A witness said the driver turned down the center of the Venice boardwalk and started to accelerate, sending bodies flying as people screamed and scrambled for cover.
“That guy’s intention was to kill people,” Landon Blackburn told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV.
Another witness added that it appeared the driver was swerving back and forth to hit as many people as possible.
The incident left a “bunch of people on the ground, bloodied,” said jogger Daniel Regidor, who added, “Some looked pretty mangled, head injuries, just a lot of blood.” Another
Police arrested 38-year-old Nathan Louis Campbell for investigation of murder. The man turned himself into police and is being held on $2 million bail. No motive for the attack is known.
Surveillance footage from the photo-sharing app Snapchat captured the incident, showing the Dodge Avenger smashing kiosk stands and plowing through people.
Alice Gruppioni, a 32-year-old woman from Italy, died after being taken to the hospital. Another of the 11 victims was listed in critical condition after the crash and one more was in serious condition.
Charges against the driver would be upgraded if it was determined that he intentionally hit the pedestrians, said Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Andy Neiman.
The Venice Boardwalk is a popular and busy stretch of pavement that extends a few hundred yards into the Pacific Ocean.
“Thousands of people come to enjoy the beach and walk and bike,” Neiman said. “It’s horrendous.”
Police were interviewing the Venice boardwalk suspect on Saturday, and charges could be filed sometime soon.