LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles officials are on high alert as a potential serial killer targets homeless men. A chilling string of fatal shootings have taken place in the city over the course of the week. Three victims were killed while they were asleep on the streets and in alleys of the city, all reportedly killed by the same person.
The sinister series began on Sunday with the murder of a 37-year-old man in an alley in Westmont just past 3 a.m. The perpetrator struck again nearly 24 hours later, taking the life of a 62-year-old man who was sleeping behind a building. On Wednesday at around 2:30 a.m., a 52-year-old man met a similar tragic fate, marking the third victim of the week.
Police have been keen to note similarities in all the incidents, as Chief of the LAPD, Michel Moore, emphasized that all victims were alone, in open areas such as sidewalks and alleys when they were shot in their sleep. Although the murderer’s series of attacks bear the hallmark of a serial killer, Moore hesitated to label the suspect as such at this stage.
The identity of the suspect remains unknown, with police only able to determine that he might be a man acting alone. Surveillance footage captured a person dressed in hooded clothing and driving a dark-colored sedan, which is linked to all three incidents.
In response to the menacing activities, the LAPD has set up 24/7 task force and a tip line to speed up the search for the suspect. The police have also increased patrols in areas known to be inhabited by people sleeping rough.
Mayor Karen Bass has called for the city’s homeless community to seek shelter or stay in groups to lower the risk. The city is working to provide as many emergency shelters as it can to provide sanctuary for the homeless. Bass stressed that individuals, not encampments, were being preyed upon, and urged vulnerable people on the streets to seek support and shelter.
This series of violent attacks on the homeless population in Los Angeles marks over 20 months since Gerald Brevard III was charged for a similar pattern of stalking and assaulting unhoused people in both New York and Washington, D.C. Brevard, who was himself homeless, reportedly attacked three homeless people while they were asleep on the streets.