(Adds details of rampage, vigil, city action)
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES Aug 6 A Colorado man accused of
plowing his car through crowds at the Venice Beach boardwalk in
Los Angeles, killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon and
injuring 16 others, was charged on Tuesday with murder and
multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, was also charged with 17 counts
of hit-and-run, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's
Office said in a statement.
Prosecutors said Campbell was behind the wheel of a dark
blue Dodge Avenger that sped down the packed boardwalk in Venice
Beach shortly before 6 p.m. on Saturday, killing 32-year-old
Italian tourist Alice Gruppioni.
Witnesses said it appeared the driver was aiming for
pedestrians along the ocean front walk, a major tourist
attraction known for its patchwork of street vendors, souvenir
shops, restaurants and sporting areas in one of the city's
Security footage aired on ABC News shows the car smashing
into a crowd of people, backing up and then driving into another
throng. Police initially listed 11 people as wounded, but in
charging Campbell, prosecutors said 16 people were struck by the
car and suffered some form of injury.
Campbell, who police described as a transient with no strong
ties to Southern California, was taken into custody after
abandoning his car blocks from the scene and walking to a police
station in the adjacent community of Santa Monica.
Authorities have disclosed little about what might have
motivated the rampage at a top Southern California tourist spot.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman has said that Campbell
made incriminating statements to officers in Santa Monica.
Campbell was expected to be advised of the charges against
him in an initial court appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court
on Tuesday, and prosecutors said they would seek to have him
held on $1.48 million bail. He faces a possible life prison term
Some 100 people gathered on the boardwalk on Monday night in
a moment of silence for Gruppioni, who was traveling in
California with her new husband, and for the other victims.
A Los Angeles City Council member has asked fire and law
enforcement agencies to study placing permanent concrete
barricades in place to restrict vehicle access to the boardwalk.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston,
Cynthia Osterman and David Gregorio)