Residents Report Gunshots; Police Probe Indicates Fireworks 

All fireworks are illegal in the City of South Pasadena. Few people understand the associated risks – devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death,” according to a statement on the NFPA website,
Photo by Harry Yadav

Several South Pasadena residents in the area of Columbia Street and Orange Grove Boulevard reported to police Monday morning that they’d heard gunshots. A lot of gunshots.

Bert DeMars reported to So Pas police that at about 4:30 a.m. Monday he’d heard “a volley of gunfire” that was frightening.  

“It sounded like someone emptied a full 15-round clip of a semi-auto(matic) pistol,” DeMars said in an email to The Review. “When I spoke with a South Pasadena Police officer by phone, she said it was just ‘fireworks.’ The sound of fireworks going off is a sporadic sequence of pops. This was an evenly spaced cadence of gunfire.”

In fact, So Pas police said the noise was fireworks, and that it came from Pasadena. So Pas police also indicated they had received more than 25 calls regarding the noise.

“Our officers went to several locations in our city for this call and we received over 25 calls related to what you reported,” So Pas Police Sgt. Mathew Ronnie wrote in an email to DeMars. “We did not find any evidence of a firearm being discharged in our city and one resident reported the sound as fireworks.”

However, So Pas police contacted the Pasadena Police Department, which indicated they had received the same type of call regarding gunshots. Its investigation revealed that fireworks was the source and they were coming from a Pasadena residence in the 200 block of Columbia Street.

DeMars, meanwhile, was not satisfied with the results of the police investigation that led to fireworks as the source of the noise.

“It’s a bit frightening to be awakened at 4:30 a.m. by continuing gunfire, and be told by the SPPD it was fireworks,” DeMars said. “Gee, it might be fun to get up at 4:30 in the morning and fire off a bottle rocket or light a sparkler.”