LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man already in custody in connection with another shooting investigation has been identified as the suspect in three recent killings of homeless men, police said Saturday.
Los Angeles Police chief Michel Moore confirmed that Jerrid Joseph, Powell, 33 was the suspect of the three shootings. This was after authorities determined the firearm in the car he was driving at the time he was arrested had a link to the crimes.
Powell was arrested this week by Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies for investigation of the shooting death and robbery of a 42-year-old man late Tuesday after he returned to his home in the community of San Dimas about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles.
The announcement was made just a few days after Los Angeles officials announced they were searching a suspect over the shootings that killed three homeless men. Authorities also warned homeless people to never sleep alone. The shootings happened at the beginning of November, while the victims were asleep or getting ready to sleep for the night.
Jose Bolanos (37), was found dead in a South Los Angeles alley around 3am on the 26th of November with a bullet wound.
Mark Diggs was killed the next day while pushing a cart near downtown at around 5 am. According to officials, Diggs had been shot in the chest. The third shooting of homeless men occurred on Wednesday morning at 2:30 am in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood. A 52-year old man’s body was discovered. Police have not identified him yet, pending notification from his family.
Los Angeles County is the nation’s most populous, with about 10 million people, and was home to more than one in five of the nation’s homeless people, according to a 2022 federal tally. According to the latest official count in January, Los Angeles County had about 10 million people. It also has more than one fifth of all homeless Americans. More than 75,000 people are homeless Any given night, the entire county is lit up.
After the San Dimas shooting, detectives identified Powell’s vehicle through surveillance footage and tracked it to the city of Beverly Hills, where police stopped him Wednesday and found the firearm inside, authorities said.
“I am grateful that this suspect in this case is in custody and no longer a threat to this community,” Moore said to reporters.
Powell is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. It was not possible to immediately identify his attorney. According to online jail records, Powell was arrested and held for $2 million on bail.
Moore asked for any additional information from the public. Moore said that authorities do not believe that there is any link between Powell and victims.
He said that authorities quickly worked across agencies to identify a suspect using surveillance technology.
“Had they not had access to those tools, this individual, I am convinced, would still be moving about the city and the region, and killing individuals,” Moore says
The announcement was made after Five homeless people have been shot in Las Vegas One of them was fatally injured on Friday. Authorities reported that the police were searching for one suspect.