Authorities in Los Angeles have arrested and charged a 33-year-old man in connection with the shooting deaths of three sleeping homeless men and another victim during a robbery, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced on Monday.
Per CNN, the suspect, identified as Jerrid Joseph Powell, was arrested on November 30. He has since been charged with four counts of murder, one count of residential robbery, and one count of being a felon with a firearm. Authorities also said he faces special circumstances of carrying out multiple murders and murder in the course of a robbery.
Powell made a court appearance on Monday where he was denied bail. The date for him to enter a plea was also pushed to January 8.
“As with every client, we are committed to presenting a vigorous defense for Mr. Powell and holding the prosecution to their burden of proof,” the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office said in a statement to the news outlet.
Powell is said to have fatally shot the first homeless man on November 26 before killing the second victim the following day. He then shot and killed the third homeless man on November 29. In the wake of the killings, the city sent out hundreds of workers and partners to warn homeless people about a suspect targeting them. Authorities are, however, yet to establish the motive behind the murders.
Powell allegedly shot and killed the fourth individual, Nicholas Simbolon, 42, while committing a robbery at the victim’s San Dimas home on November 28. Authorities said Powell fatally shot Simbolon in his garage after he followed the victim to his residence, CNN reported.
The 33-year-old was ultimately arrested in connection with Simbolon’s killing after the Beverly Hills Police Department pulled him over and determined the car he was driving was linked to that case. Authorities also said they believe the car in question as well as a firearm that was recovered inside was connected to the shooting deaths of the three homeless men.
“I want to extend my deepest appreciation to the incredible men and women of law enforcement who worked tirelessly to bring justice to our community and arrest this individual,” Gascón said, per NBC Los Angeles. “The swift actions of law enforcement undoubtedly saved lives this week.”