LOS ANGELES — Restaurant workers wiped tables and prepped menus at L.A. Live on Friday morning, readying for the typical weekend rush of concertgoers, diners and visitors at the downtown complex.
Visitors stopped to admire a Christmas tree in the center of an open-air ice rink, either unaware or unconcerned that a man had been gunned down inside one of the nearby restaurants three days earlier.
“I’ve seen people get beat up around here, but nothing like that,” said L.A. Live regular Polo Palomarez, 67. “But most people don’t know what happened.”
Home to the Peacock Theater, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, a movie theater and Crypto.com Arena, the entertainment complex is a hub of activity — with thousands of visitors and patrons on any given night.
Yet L.A. Live, which first opened in late 2007, has been known as a safe area, with uniformed police and security visibly patrolling the vicinity. Tuesday’s shooting was the first killing there.
“I was like, L.A. Live? This is a very safe place,” Capt. Raul Jovel of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a family-friendly place. There’s an ice rink that’s open until midnight here every day. I’ve been here with my family myself.”
A spokesperson for L.A. Live did not respond to a request for comment.
Palomarez, who travels from Santa Clarita to eat and visit the complex’s sports bars, said he was surprised to hear of the shooting. But it wasn’t enough to keep him away.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said, turning and nodding toward downtown. “More people get killed out there.”
Just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, police say, a masked gunman in dark clothes exited a car parked on Figueroa Street outside of Fixins Soul Kitchen, walked into the restaurant and began shooting at a 43-year-old man.
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