Venice boardwalk rampage: Suspect Nathan Louis Campbell was once locked up for shoplifting

LOS ANGELES A man who spent time in jail for shoplifting in Colorado was in custody Monday for investigation ofrunning down a dozen people along the Venice Beach boardwalk, including an Italian tourist who was living her dream of honeymooning in California.

(Video of scenes from the incident and its aftermath can be seen at left. WARNING: Some content may be upsetting to viewers.)

Little information was released about 38-year-old Nathan Louis Campbell, who was arrested for investigation of murder after he walked into a police station several hours after the rampage and said he was involved. He remained in custody on $1 million bail.

Court records showed Campbell was sentenced to five days in jail after pleading guilty to shoplifting at a Denver Pavilions in February 2009. Five months later, he was accused of trespassing at an outdoor mall in Denver and sentenced to 10 days in jail, the records show.

Campbell lived in Colorado at least as recently as last year. He was evicted from his apartment in Denver for not paying $655 in rent in March 2012, records show.

California authorities said no one with his name and birth date had a state driver's license.

Alice Gruppioni, an Italian tourist, was killed in Venice Beach when a car plowed into a crowd of people. She was on her honeymoon.
Alice Gruppioni, an Italian tourist, was killed in Venice Beach when a car plowed into a crowd of people on August 3, 2013. She was on her honeymoon.
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Killed in Saturday's rampage was Alice Gruppioni, 32, whose family described as a businesswoman who never ceased to be a romantic girl dreaming about her bridal gown and meeting Prince Charming.

"She was robbed of her life while living her dream visit to California with her husband and this was a tremendous injustice," the family said in a statement.

The hit-and-run hurt 11 other people who moments earlier had been enjoying an afternoon of strolling and shopping along one of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

Police have not yet presented their case to prosecutors, and they declined to discuss a possible motive. However, Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said there was no indication the attack was a terrorist act or that anyone else was involved.

Police said the driver of the car initially parked outside a hotel and surveyed the boardwalk, where hundreds of people were sitting at cafes, walking along the seashore or shopping for jewelry, art or other items at vending stands.

Surveillance video showed the driver getting into a Dodge sedan, steering around a vehicle barrier and careening through the crowd.

A makeshift memorial along the Venice, Calif., beach boardwalk is shown Sunday Aug. 4, 2013 near where a Saturday incident involving a driver who accelerated through a crowd of beachgoers, hitting one person after another as bystanders tried desperately to get out of the way. The hit-and-run killed an Italian woman on her honeymoon and hurt 11 others.
A makeshift memorial along the Venice, Calif., beach boardwalk is shown Sunday Aug. 4, 2013 near where a Saturday incident involving a driver who accelerated through a crowd of beachgoers, hitting one person after another as bystanders tried desperately to get out of the way. The hit-and-run killed an Italian woman on her honeymoon and hurt 11 others.
AP Photo/Tami Abdollah

Two mannequins and an ATM were knocked down as the car started hitting people. It swerved from side to side, often running straight into victims. The car struck at least three vendors — a fortune teller, a couple selling jewelry and a woman tattoo artist.

Witnesses told police and reporters the driver seemed to be in control of the vehicle, deliberately trying to hit people, reports KCBS in Los Angeles.

One witness told KCBS: "The driver was out for blood."

Louisa Hodge, 35, who was out enjoying the day on the Venice Beach boardwalk with a friend visiting from San Diego, said the scene was bloody and gruesome.

"It was blocks and blocks of people just strewn across the sidewalk," Hodge said.

The driver eventually turned up a side street and headed away from the ocean. The car was abandoned less than two miles away.

Gruppioni's aunt demanded justice after the rampage.

"The only thing I want, that he is absolutely not set free. I don't want this person to be around," Katia Gruppioni told The Associated Press.

Alice Gruppioni was a general manager for the family business that makes radiators. Her father, Valerio Gruppioni, runs the company and was formerly president of the Bologna soccer team, according to Italian news agency LaPresse.

Another person was critically injured. Two others were taken to hospitals in serious condition. Eight suffered less serious injuries, police said.

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