Los Angeles police are searching for a man suspected of walking up to three unhoused people this week while they slept during the early hours of the morning and shooting them to death.
The first shooting happened on Sunday in Southeast L.A. at approximately 3 AM “in an alley in the rear of 836 West 110th Street,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore explained during a Friday afternoon press conference with L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, District Attorney George Gascón, and U.S. Attorney General E. Martin Estrada.
The victim was a 37-year-old man.
A 62-year-old man was fatally shot one day later, on Monday morning at approximately 4:55 AM, on the 800 block of East 7th Street in Skid Row.
Then, on Wednesday, at 2:30 in the morning, near the intersection of South Avenue 18 and Pasadena Avenue in Lincoln Heights, a 52-year-old man was murdered in the same manner, according to Chief Moore. Each of the killings occurred in “open areas” and involved victims who were “alone” and asleep, Chief Moore said. “Physical as well as video evidence” has been gathered by investigators so far.
On Friday afternoon, the LAPD released grainy photos of a male suspect and a possible suspect vehicle. The suspect is described only as a male, and police did not identify the make or model of the vehicle.
Police are asking for the public’s help in solving these crimes and have set up a tip line.
“We're asking for anyone with information or potential information for them to contact us on that tip line” at 213-486-6890, Chief Moore said.
“I want to be very clear about what we’re facing today,” Mayor Karen Bass said during Friday’s press conference. “This is a killer who is preying on the unhoused.”
Bass discouraged unhoused people from sleeping alone tonight or in the coming evenings.
“Seek shelter, seek services, stay together, seek support, and we need your help to get the word out,” Bass urged.
Bass said she directed the city’s Office of Homelessness and Housing Solutions “to activate city-wide,” and her office has spoken to various city and county housing networks, as well as service providers and Metro leadership “to get the word out” and to “ensure that our centers stay open during this time.”
The mayor also said they’re looking into opening shelters that typically activate during inclement weather.
“We want those shelters open now so we can get as many people who are unhoused in those shelters,” Bass said.
This is a developing story…