Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

DA Files Charges in Santa Monica Pier Party Bus Shooting Case from 2017

After "working relentlessly," Police charge two men already in custody in unrelated crimes

Prosecutors announced today that they have filed homicide charges against two men who killed a 28 year old woman on a party bus near the Santa Monica pier. The two men have been identified as Ron Simmons, 23 and Cameron Lee, 22.

The shooting occurred early in the morning of November 3, 2017. The victim, De'Ommie de la Cruz was on a Lion Limousine Corp. bus in order to celebrate the birthday of a friend. When the passengers asked for a bathroom break just before 1 a.m., the driver pulled over in the vicinity of Ocean Avenue and the Santa Monica Pier.

According to a lawsuit filed last November by friends and relatives of De'Ommie, the women on the bus were hesitant to get off once they saw men from another bus, who they thought appeared to be gang members. But when the driver warned them he would not make any more restroom stops, they exited the bus.

According to the lawsuit, De'Ommie de la Cruz and her friends were returning to their bus when an altercation broke out between the passengers of the two buses. Shots were fired.

In an interview shortly after the shooting, De'Ommie's mother, Tomeika de la Cruz, said she believed her daughter was shot because she was helping others get back on the bus during the fracas. De'Ommie was reportedly a school bus driver and a former security guard.

Three victims from the bus were struck and a fourth person on the street. The suspects reportedly jumped a railing toward the cliff above the Pacific Coast Highway.

Here's the press release from the Santa Monica Police Dept Public information officer, Lt. Candice Cobarrubias:

On November 4, 2017, officers responded to Ocean Avenue and Colorado Blvd. regarding shots fired. Officers arrived in the area and discovered a shooting had occurred with a victim found on Ocean Avenue. An involved bus drove to the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility (PSF) with additional gunshot victims on board. Three victims were treated and transported to a local hospital for treatment. A fourth victim suffered minor injuries; but was not transported to the hospital. One of the victims succumbed to her injuries due to a gunshot wound and two additional victims remained hospitalized in stable condition.

The investigation determined that a bus occupied with a large group had parked along Ocean Avenue and Colorado Blvd. Several occupants exited the bus onto Ocean Avenue and got into an altercation with occupants of another bus which was parked on Ocean Avenue resulting in several suspects firing multiple rounds into one of the buses striking three victims and another on Ocean Avenue.

Santa Monica Criminal Investigations Division and partnering agencies worked relentlessly to identify the suspects of this shooting. Their identities were determined and both were found to be in custody on unrelated cases.

On October 18, 2019, the LAX District Attorney filed homicide charges on the two suspects. The case is pending trial and more information regarding the case will be shared as the trial concludes.

Files charged on Cameron Lee have been 187(A) PC - Homicide, 246 PC – Discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, 12022.53(D)(C)(B) – Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and 186.22(B)(1)(C) – Gang Enhancement.

Files charged on Ron Simmons have been 664/187(A)PC – Attempt Murder, 246 PC – Discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, 12022.53 – Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, 29800(A)(1) PC – Person convicted of a Felony possessing a Firearm and 186.22(B)(1)(C)- Gang Enhancement.


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