The Long Beach Police Department responded to a shooting at...

The Long Beach Police Department responded to a shooting at the Long Island Rail Road train station. Credit: Jim Staubitser

The City of Long Beach will immediately close the beach from dusk to dawn and require passes to access it on weekdays, city officials announced Friday in response to a shooting and large gathering of teenagers Thursday.

City Manager Daniel Creighton, while declaring the 2024 beach season open at a boardwalk news conference Friday, said the city is now “requiring everyone to have beach passes immediately” and “beach passes will be required to gain access to the beach every single day. No pass, no beach.”

The city acted after someone was shot inside the Long Island Rail Road station Thursday evening. That happened after more than 2,000 people were escorted off the beach, officials said.

Two people were taken into custody, and one 15-year-old was charged in the shooting, officials said Friday.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Long Beach will immediately close the beach from dusk to dawn and require passes to access it on weekdays, city officials announced Friday.
  • The city acted after someone was shot inside the Long Island Rail Road station Thursday evening. 
  • The shooting happened after more than 2,000 people were escorted off the beach, officials said.

The shooting victim, a male, was hit in the abdomen and was “conscious and alert” when taken from the scene, Long Beach acting police Commissioner Richard DePalma said Friday.

The individual charged was not named. That teen was charged with first-degree attempted assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal use of a firearm, second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm, and unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, DePalma said.

The investigation is ongoing. 

Previously, the beach at Long Beach closed at 11 p.m., according to city spokesman John McNally. Creighton said that events with permits could take place on the beach after dusk. 

Beach passes had been scheduled to be required for weekday beach access beginning June 27. 

Creighton said he was enacting the changes by executive order and that the City Council would take up the issue next week.

“What we witnessed yesterday, and what our citizens endured, is completely unacceptable,” City Council President Brendan Finn said at the news conference.

Large crowd, then shots fired

Long Beach police had responded to a report of shots fired near the LIRR station after police had to break up a large crowd on the beach at about 7 p.m. Thursday, city officials said.

Officials earlier had said about 3,000 teens had converged on the beach from various schools, including from New York City. On Friday, officials put that number at more than 2,000; DePalma said it was a “large unpermitted event.”

“There were some disorderly groups within that group, some fights occurred,” DePalma said at the news conference. As the Long Beach Police Department dispersed the crowd, it called the Nassau County Police Department and Metropolitan Transportation Authority police for assistance, he said.

The gathering appeared to be part of a “senior cut day” involving high school kids from Elmont, Malverne, Baldwin, Freeport, Hempstead and Queens that was advertised through social media, including Snapchat, DePalma said.

“When you have a large group like this, it can go from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds,” DePalma said.

McNally said the city manager had authority to make executive orders under a section of state law dealing with states of emergency and the city code, which gives the city manager authority to give commands to the police.

DePalma said police are going through videos of the evening’s events as part of their investigation.

“We're trying to prevent this from happening again," Creighton said. "This beach is meant to be enjoyed, not to be an unsafe place.” 

Merchants react

The boardwalk restaurant Riptides closed at 5 p.m. Thursday rather than the usual 7 p.m. when owner Brian Braddish saw the large group on the beach.

He praised the police response Thursday to a challenging situation: “How do you handle 2,000-plus people?” he said.

Braddish said he heard that the city would close the beach at dusk in response to the incident.

“If that’s what they’re looking to do, then I fully support them until they get stuff under control out here,” Braddish said. “I’m more concerned about the residents, I’m a resident myself.” 

Louis Delacruz, manager at Gino’s of Long Beach, said that around 6 p.m., after the crowds were dispersed from the beach, they descended upon West Park Avenue across the street from the LIRR station where the pizzeria is located.

“They came up here and by the time we realized it we were mobbed,” Delacruz said.

Delacruz said he called police when he saw girls “chugging bottles” of liquor that they had brought into the restaurant.

Police restored order, he said, but they were still mobbed until about 9 p.m. The power outlet in the women’s bathroom was ripped out but otherwise there was no physical damage to the restaurant, he said. 

Leah Tozer, a real estate broker and co-chair of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, said requiring beach passes for weekdays earlier was “a great solution.”

“As residents we buy our seasonal passes,” Tozer said. “If people are going to come onto the beach, they have to have passes. Personally I’m happy they’ll do it.” 

Tozer said she was less sure about closing the beach at dusk instead of 11 p.m.

“I know some people like to go to the beach at night,” Tozer said. “I guess we have to see how it plays out.”

With John Asbury and John Valenti

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously included a photo that was taken during a disturbance in Long Beach in 2023.

More on this topic
Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

Newsday's political experts breakdown what's next for Dems ... Suffolk cybersecurity ... Cleaning up the beaches ... Sunflower fields

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

Newsday's political experts breakdown what's next for Dems ... Suffolk cybersecurity ... Cleaning up the beaches ... Sunflower fields

Latest videos

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.