Los Angeles police expand probe of 3 homeless slayings to outside Southern Californiathedigitalchaps


Authorities in Southern California have expanded their investigation into the slayings of three homeless men to areas outside Los Angeles, the city’s police chief said Tuesday.

“The department is also working across the United States, working with our federal partners, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, to identify this gunman’s actions,” Chief Michel Moore said, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The suspect, Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, was arrested Thursday in connection with an unrelated slaying last week of a county employee. Police said Powell fatally shot Nicholas Simbolon at his home in San Dimas, a city east of Los Angeles, during a Nov. 28 home robbery, police said.

An image released by police shows a person suspected in the killings of three homeless people in Los Angeles.LAPD

Moore said Saturday that police connected Powell’s car, seen on security video at the home robbery, with the car driven in the slayings of the three homeless people.

A gun discovered in the suspect’s vehicle also matched the weapon used in the shootings of the homeless men, police said.

Police had been searching for the person responsible for those slayings last week before they connected Powell to the homicides.

The killings started early Nov. 26, when Jose Bolanos, 37, was fatally shot as he slept on a couch in a rear alley, police have said.

The next morning, Mark Diggs, 62, was shot as he leaned against a wall.

The man killed in his garage, Simbolon, a Los Angeles County employee, was fatally shot Tuesday at his home in San Dimas.

Then, on Wednesday, a 52-year-old man who had been sleeping on the sidewalk was fatally shot near an intersection, police said. NBC Los Angeles identified him as Shawn Alvarez.

The four slayings raised questions about whether there were other attacks the suspect might be responsible for, Moore said, according to the station.

“We’re unclear whether or not he has any prior violence that may have been unsolved or undetected to this point,” Moore said.

On Monday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office formally charged Powell with four counts of murder, one count of residential robbery and one count of being a felon with a firearm, District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.