Suspect identified in murder of three homeless people in Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man previously arrested in another shooting investigation has been identified as a suspect in three recent killings of homeless people, police said Saturday.

Los Angeles Police Chief Mitchell Moore said 33-year-old Jerrid Joseph Powell was identified as the suspect in the three murders after authorities determined that the vehicle he was driving when he was first arrested. The gun found there was related to the shooting.

Powell was arrested this week by Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies for investigation of the robbery and shooting death of a 42-year-old man after he returned to his home.

The announcement comes a day after authorities said they were searching for a suspect in the shooting, which occurred in the early morning hours in late November as the victims were sleeping or preparing to spend the night.

Jose Bolanos, 37, was found dead of a gunshot wound in a South Los Angeles alley around 3 a.m. on Nov. 26, police said. The next day, 62-year-old Mark Diggs was shot and killed while pushing a shopping cart near downtown around 5 a.m., according to authorities.

The third shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. on November 29 in the Lincoln Heights area, where the body of a 52-year-old man was found. The police did not immediately identify him until the family was informed.

Detectives identified Powell’s vehicle through surveillance footage and tracked it to downtown Beverly Hills, where police stopped it and found a firearm inside, authorities said.

“I’m grateful that the suspect in this case is in custody and is no longer a threat to the community,” Moore told reporters.

It was not immediately possible to identify an attorney for Powell, who is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. Online jail records show he was arrested Thursday and is being held on $2 million bail.


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