What’s going on with gunshots in San Pedro?

Coastal community experienced a fall spike in gun violence. Count has since fallen

Multi-colored illustration of a gun


The rise and fall of various types of crime in Los Angeles can generate headlines, but abrupt shifts in individual neighborhoods are often overlooked. In the feature “What’s going on with?” Crosstown examines the data involved in some of these trends.


The coastal neighborhood of San Pedro is home to the busy Port of Los Angeles, and attractions like the Korean Friendship Bell and the Point Fermin Lighthouse. Last fall, it was the site of something unwelcome: a surge in shots fired. 


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In the years 2020 to 2022, gunshot reports in the community were fairly stable, ranging from 58 to 71, according to publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data. Last year the violence spiked, with 89 gunshot reports.


Bar chart of annual shots fired reports in San Pedro over four years


The increase was sudden. In 2021 and 2022, San Pedro never saw more than nine monthly gunshot reports. The count in August 2023 was four.


Then, in September, there were 14 shots-fired reports, and 19 in October.


Line chart of monthly shots fired in San Pedro


It is hard to say precisely why this occurred. Some neighborhoods in Los Angeles have seen spikes in gun violence or homicides tied to gang feuds, which frequently leads to intervention workers who seek to defuse tensions. Numbers often fall quickly. 


The count did decline in San Pedro. In November, there were five shots-fired reports.


According to police data, 11 shootings in the neighborhood from Sept. 1–Oct. 31 were tied to gangs. The LAPD declined to comment for this article. Requests for comment from the office of District 15 Councilmember Tim McOsker were not returned.


Different trend citywide

The situation in San Pedro stands out in part because it is counter to trends across the city. The 2,852 shots-fired report in Los Angeles in 2023 is down 8.8% from the previous year, according to police data. Overall homicides last year declined by 17%.


Citywide gunshot reports have, for the most part, gradually decreased since December 2020, when 353 were recorded. There were frequently 200 to 300 monthly reports in Los Angeles in 2022 and 2023. 


The citywide high in 2023 was the 290 reports in October. In December the count was 208, and in January 2024 there were 219 shots-fired reports, according to police data.


San Pedro was not alone in its temporary spike. In adjacent Wilmington there were 11 shots-fired reports in September. That was the neighborhood’s highest monthly total in more than two years.


San Pedro has seen spikes of violence before. In July 2022, two people were killed and six were injured when gunfire erupted on an afternoon in the neighborhood’s Peck Park, where a large crowd had gathered for a car show and a baseball game. Four people were eventually arrested


That month also brought three homicides in the neighborhood.


While San Pedro experienced a recent spike in gunshot reports, other neighborhoods suffered more in 2023. The high was the 178 shots-fired reports in Downtown. Boyle Heights tabulated 141 reports. 


Table of neighborhoods with most shots fired reports in 2023


Although numbers have gone down in San Pedro, some troubling incidents continue. Just past midnight on Jan. 20, three people were shot inside a business in the neighborhood. One victim died. 


How we did it: We examined publicly available crime data from the Los Angeles Police Department from Jan. 1, 2020–Jan. 31, 2024.


LAPD data only reflects crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LAPD makes publicly available. LAPD may update past crime reports with new information, or recategorize past reports. Those revised reports do not always automatically become part of the public database.


Have questions about our data or want to know more? Write to us at askus@xtown.la.