By Greta Cobar
Prom is a celebration and a right of passage that students as well as parents envision and dwell on for a long time before it comes about.
Having a drive-by shooting at a Venice High School after-prom party that left a 21-year-old Venice alumnus dead and another 18-year-old former Venice student injured was not the envisioned end-of-the night event, however.
The party on the night of June 12 on Louella Avenue, south of Venice Blvd. near Walgrove Avenue, was heavily anticipated, planned and advertised on Facebook. Thus everyone knew about it and everyone, including Hamilton High School students, showed up for a good time.
As the place got full, the people throwing the party had to turn away non-invited guests. Most of the people who were turned away from the party did not rush to leave, but instead mingled on the sidewalk in front of the house.
This was the situation that Michael McGuire, Jr. and his 18-year-old friend encountered when they showed up to have a good time just like everybody else. When denied admission into the party, the two did not hang out by the fence like the others, but walked back to their cars instead. A car came by and shot towards them, injuring both.
They were both taken to the hospital, and the 18-year old was released that same night while McGuire, a 21-year-old Venice High School alumnus, was pulled off life support the next day.
The police brought out the sirening cars and two helicopters, but they did not find any suspects. According to a student who was present at that party, guests were placed in lock-down in the back yard and were escorted by adults and police to their cars in groups of 10 through the back of the house.
Michael McGuire, Sr., father of the victim, stated at a news conference on June 29 that his son has never been associated with gangs. He also asked anyone with any information to please call the LAPD at 877-LAPD-247.
A paddle-out ceremony in his memory is scheduled for Saturday morning, July 10, near the Venice Pier. b