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Authorities in Los Angeles have reported a detainment in relation to the murders of three unhoused individuals earlier this week.
According to NBC, the individual responsible for the crime has been named as Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33 years old. In a press conference held on Friday, city officials had appealed for help from the community after announcing that three homeless men had been killed within a four-day period.
The initial target was shot at approximately 3:10 am on November 26 in the Westmont area while he was resting on a sofa in a back alley. The second individual was fatally wounded at approximately 4:55 am the following day in downtown Los Angeles as he leaned against a wall while waiting for his phone to charge.
The most recent homicide occurred at approximately 2:30am on Wednesday in Lincoln Heights while the victim was sleeping on a sidewalk. The individuals who were killed have been identified as 37-year-old Jose Bolanos, 62-year-old Mark Diggs, and a 52-year-old Hispanic man whose name has not been disclosed until his family is notified.
According to NBC, Mr. Powell was arrested on Thursday for the killing of Nicholas Simbolon, a 42-year-old father of two. Simbolon was followed for 12 miles to his home in San Dimas, where he was robbed of personal items before being fatally shot.
During his detainment, Mr. Powell’s car was connected to security footage from the location of the assault on Diggs.
According to authorities, a firearm was found in the vehicle.
Chief Moore noted that the crimes shared common elements, indicating a potential connection. The victims, all homeless men, were all killed before 5am while sleeping on a sidewalk or alleyway.
Prior to the events of Saturday evening, he cautioned that the individual responsible seemed to have deliberately chosen victims who were unaccompanied, as opposed to those living in homeless encampments.
The chief, Mr. Moore, stated that all of these murders share a similarity in that the victims were all alone in an exposed location. According to our belief, one person targeted and fatally shot each victim while they were sleeping.
Earlier, the police shared screenshots from surveillance footage identifying the suspected serial killer and his car. In the picture, the suspect is seen wearing a light-colored hoodie and dark pants.
Chief Moore stated that there will not be any further release of footage showing the events leading up to the third murder at this point in time.
The city established temporary shelters for homeless individuals during the winter season and increased patrol in areas where they typically sleep outdoors. Mayor Karen Bass urged the public to help spread awareness about the ongoing investigation and encouraged the homeless community to seek shelter.
The mayor requested that you inform them about the potential danger and remind them that they are not alone tonight. The message to those who are homeless is straightforward: do not sleep alone, find shelter and services, and stick together.
According to Chief Moore, detectives who specialize in homicide from various departments are now involved in the investigation. Additionally, a team of experts in forensics is prepared to swiftly analyze any evidence that is gathered.
Chief Moore stated that leadership from more than 40 agencies has been informed about the progress of the series of murders.
If you have any details about the homicides, please contact the Homicide Special Section at (213) 486-6890.