Suspect in LA homeless murders arrested; man linked to other homicide

(KTLA) — A man has been arrested in connection with the murders of three homeless men in the Los Angeles area, and authorities believe he is also linked to another homicide in San Dimas.

At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore identified the suspect as Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, of Los Angeles.

Powell is alleged to be the gunman behind the murders of three homeless men across Los Angeles from Nov. 26 to 29.

It was confirmed on Saturday that he is also the prime suspect in the follow-home murder of Nicholas Simbolon of San Dimas on Tuesday night.

According to Chief Moore, Powell was responsible for four murders in four days.

Authorities identified Powell’s vehicle in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, Moore said, and upon conducting a traffic stop, Beverly Hills Police Department officers recovered the weapon used in the crimes and subsequently arrested him.

“Over the course of the investigation of our murders, we were able to identify the vehicle we believe is connected to our three homicides as being the same vehicle that Mr. Powell used in the murder of Mr. Simbolon,” Moore said at Saturday’s press conference. “[We learned] that it was being held in custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as evidence of their murder.”

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, detectives identified a vehicle that may have been involved in Sambolon’s murder and entered its license plate number into an automatic license plate reader system, leading the Beverly Hills officers to conduct the traffic stop.

“We know there’s controversy out there about the usage of this system, but let me tell our community something,” Luna said. “If we did not enter that plate into the system, this individual that we believe is responsible for at least four murders may have [still] been out there and reoffended.”

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass commended law enforcement officials for their swift work and cooperation while also acknowledging the role that government agencies had in making sure unhoused Angelenos remained safe.

“Twenty-four hours ago, we announced there was a killer on the loose, now he is in custody,” Bass said on Saturday. “Right after the conclusion of yesterday’s press conference, my office was able to convene more than four hundred people representing city departments, housing service providers, regional agencies … and elected officials at the city and county level to ensure that they would [get the word out] about the threat facing our unhoused community.”

Powell was arrested on murder charges and robbery charges in connection with the follow-home murder in San Dimas.

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