Court Date Set for Los Angeles Man Accused of Shooting Sleeping Homeless Individuals
Image By: Los Angeles Times

Court Date Set for Los Angeles Man Accused of Shooting Sleeping Homeless Individuals

A 33-year-old Los Angeles resident, Jerrid Joseph Powell, suspected of shooting three men last week while they slept—alone and unhoused—is expected to appear in court on Monday. Powell was apprehended on Wednesday in connection with a separate case involving the fatal shooting of a man during a robbery in San Dimas.

Investigators linked him to the three killings in Los Angeles the same week, according to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore.

Powell is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. and is currently in detention pending the filing of criminal charges, as per a release from the police on Saturday.

The victims, two Hispanic men aged 37 and 52, and a 62-year-old Black man, were targeted in various locations around Los Angeles, including near Skid Row, a downtown area known for its large homeless population.

The killings occurred as the victims slept on sidewalks or in alleys. The city responded by deploying hundreds of personnel to warn unhoused communities about the ongoing threat.

The first killing took place around 3 a.m. on Sunday in an alley, the second on Monday shortly before 5 a.m., and the third on Wednesday around 2:30 a.m.

Powell’s arrest stemmed from a vehicle stop by the Beverly Hills Police Department, where they found he was driving a car linked to the killing of 42-year-old Nicholas Simbolon in San Dimas. Powell allegedly followed Simbolon to his home on Tuesday, robbed him inside his garage, and fatally shot him.

The vehicle and firearm used in Simbolon’s killing were connected to the three Los Angeles shootings through ballistic evidence.

Despite the arrest, investigators have not determined a motive for the killings. Mayor Karen Bass’s office mobilized over 400 people from city departments and regional agencies to warn unhoused individuals of the ongoing threat. The mayor advised residents not to sleep alone on the city’s streets and encouraged them to seek shelter and support.

“This is a killer who is preying on the unhoused,” Bass warned.

People who are homeless in the city confront perilous conditions daily, she mentioned, highlighting that four to five individuals without homes succumb each day to various causes, including violence.

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