Suspect in homeless killings charged with 4 counts of murder


The man wanted in a series of shootings that left three homeless men dead across Los Angeles last week was charged Monday with four counts of murder, prosecutors said.

Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, was charged with four counts of murder, one count of robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was expected be to arraigned in a downtown courtroom Monday afternoon.

“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,” Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a statement. “The swift actions of law enforcement undoubtedly saved lives this week.”

Prosecutors also filed special circumstances allegations claiming Powell committed multiple murders. If convicted as charged, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Authorities say Powell, 33, of Los Angeles, began the string of attacks before dawn on Nov. 26. About 3:10 a.m., 37-year-old Jose Bolanos was shot while sleeping on a couch near 110th Street and Vermont Avenue.

Roughly 24 hours later, Powell shot 62-year-old Mark Diggs on San Mateo Street near the Arts District as Diggs pushed a shopping cart and looked for a place to charge his phone, prosecutors said.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 29, a third victim — identified only as a 52-year-old Latino man — was shot and killed in Lincoln Heights, police said.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Saturday that police had not identified a motive in the slayings, but Powell had not robbed the victims and had “no interaction” with them. He described a video of Diggs’ slaying as “bone-chilling” and said Powell shot the man with no warning or provocation.

Robbery-Homicide Division Capt. Scot Williams said investigators are “looking into every aspect of Powell’s life” to discern a potential motive for the shootings, “but at this point, it is a mystery.”

Powell was arrested Wednesday night in Beverly Hills during a traffic stop after his car was linked to a fatal shooting three days earlier in San Dimas.

Nicholas Simbolon, an employee of the Los Angeles County chief executive’s office, was killed in what police have termed a “follow-home robbery.” Simbolon’s wife found the 42-year-old with a gunshot wound, slumped inside his Tesla in the garage of their home in the 1800 block of Hawkbrook Drive, according to Sheriff Robert Luna, who said the shooter stole a few things during the targeted attack.

Police say Powell fled the scene in a 2024 BMW M440i. The vehicle, which costs upward of $62,000 and which authorities say Powell owns, was spotted in Beverly Hills three days later by officers who initiated a traffic stop and took Powell into custody. He wasn’t linked to the killings of the homeless victims until late Friday or early Saturday.

Court records show Powell has an extensive criminal and legal history in California.

In 2013, a woman filed for a restraining order against him in Los Angeles, though it was quickly dropped. Three years later, another woman in San Bernardino filed for a restraining order, which was dismissed after a few weeks.

In 2017, he was convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license.

While most of the crimes Powell is accused of committing were low-level offenses, he was charged in 2018 with assault with a deadly weapon after stabbing a man with a knife, according to San Bernardino court records reviewed by The Times.

He pleaded guilty to a lower-level felony in that case and served nearly 400 days in jail, according to court records.

In 2019, he was convicted of trespassing.

Moore said investigators will try to reconstruct Powell’s movements to see if he left “a path of destruction behind him that we have not yet determined.” Luna said that based on his criminal history, “he didn’t just start doing this a week ago.”



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