Jose Bolanos, Mark Diggs, and Nicholas Simbolon : Man Charged with Four Counts of Murder in Los Angeles Homeless Shootings

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Man Charged with Four Counts of Murder in Los Angeles Shootings

LOS ANGELES — On Monday, prosecutors formally charged Jerrid Joseph Powell with four counts of murder in connection with the fatal shootings of three homeless men in Los Angeles and a suburban resident last month. Powell, 33, also faces additional charges of residential robbery and being a felon with a firearm. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated that Powell will be charged with special circumstances due to the multiple murders, murder during a robbery, and personal use of a firearm.

Later in the day, Powell was scheduled to appear in court for arraignment. So far, efforts to determine if he has legal representation have been unsuccessful.

Initially, Powell was arrested as a suspect in a deadly shooting during a robbery in the San Dimas community. However, when a firearm found in his car was linked to the shootings of the three homeless men, he was identified as a suspect in those cases as well.

During a weekend press conference announcing the arrest, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore stated that the motive behind the killings of the homeless victims remains unknown.

The victims have been identified as Jose Bolanos, 37, who was found dead with a gunshot wound in South Los Angeles; Mark Diggs, 62, who was shot and killed while pushing a shopping cart near downtown; and an unidentified 52-year-old man whose body was discovered in the Lincoln Heights area. Additionally, Nicholas Simbolon, 42, was shot dead at his home in San Dimas.

Authorities obtained surveillance images of a suspect vehicle, and a license plate reader in Beverly Hills alerted police, leading to Powell’s arrest.

District Attorney George Gascón expressed his gratitude to law enforcement for their efforts in bringing justice to the community. If convicted on all charges, Powell could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Los Angeles County, with a population of approximately 10 million people, has one of the highest homeless populations in the nation, with over 75,000 homeless individuals counted in January. Homeless advocates emphasize that those living on the streets are more likely to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators.

In a separate incident, five homeless people were shot in Las Vegas on Friday, resulting in one fatality. Police are currently searching for a lone suspect.

This is not the first time that crimes against homeless individuals have occurred in California. In Orange County, Itzcoatl Ocampo, a former Marine, was charged with killing four homeless men through a series of stabbings between late 2011 and early 2012. Ocampo died while awaiting trial, reportedly after ingesting cleanser he had collected while in custody.

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