A suspected serial killer who allegedly massacred three homeless people on the streets of Los Angeles was identified Saturday. That’s because investigators discovered he was already in custody for a fourth, separate murder.
Police say Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, shot and killed three vulnerable men and a fourth man who was not homeless in a botched robbery during a four-day violent killing spree, police said. I have doubts.
Mr. Powell was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of a botched robbery, and on Saturday, investigators implicated him in the murder of a homeless man.
The news comes just a day after city officials issued an urgent plea to the unhoused to be on high alert for killers who “prey on the unhoused.”
“Twenty-four hours ago, we announced that a murderer was on the loose. He is now in custody,” Mayor Karen Bass said at a news conference.
Mr. Powell had been in custody since his arrest on Wednesday.
The murder suspect began a frenzied spree at 3 a.m. Sunday when he allegedly killed 37-year-old Jose Bolanos while the victim was asleep. Just 24 hours later, he is suspected of reenacting the barbaric crime in which he shot and killed 62-year-old Mark Diggs behind a building. said the police.
The third, unidentified victim was killed around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, hours before Mr. Powell was taken into custody.
He was arrested on Tuesday night in connection with a homecoming robbery that killed the 42-year-old father of two.
According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Powell allegedly followed Nicholas Simbolon 19 miles from an electric vehicle charging station to his home in San Dimas, then shot and robbed him when he got out of his car. is held.
The suspected serial killer has been linked to various murders with his car, which was found at the scene of all the murders allegedly committed by Mr. Powell, police said.
Investigators tracked Powell using an automated license plate reading system and he was taken into custody after a traffic stop in Beverly Hills.
A handgun was found inside the vehicle and “positively identified” as the murder weapon used in all four murders, police said.
“If they didn’t have access to these tools, I’m convinced that this person would still be roaming the city and the region, killing innocent and helpless people.” Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said.
It is unclear what motivated Powell to go on the rampage, but Moore said the homeless men were all asleep when they were targeted and were killed “without provocation.”
Police said in a statement that the robbery was “senseless.”
The indiscriminate killings prompted city officials to set up a task force and open emergency shelters, usually reserved for inclement weather, to remove as many homeless people from the streets as possible.
Officials also flooded the streets to encourage homeless people to seek shelter or at least stay in groups until their perpetrators are arrested.
Authorities are investigating whether Powell may be connected to other cases.
Mr. Powell is being held on $2.1 million bail.