The Los Angeles Police Department has identified a suspect, Jerrid Joseph Powell, in connection with a series of killings, including the deaths of three homeless men earlier this week. Powell, 33, was already in custody for the killing of a county employee. While charges have not been announced, police have linked Powell to the crimes through surveillance footage, matching vehicles, and a handgun found in his possession.
Who is Jerrid Joseph Powell?
Jerrid Joseph Powell, the 33-year-old suspect, was apprehended on Thursday for the murder of Nicholas Simbolon, a San Dimas father of two. Powell was arrested in Beverly Hills after detectives matched his vehicle to one seen in surveillance footage from Simbolon’s killing.
The handgun found in Powell’s car also matched the weapon used in the three homeless killings. Powell allegedly followed Simbolon 12 miles from an electric vehicle charging station before robbing and fatally shooting him.
The Homeless Killings
The three homeless victims were all men, killed in separate attacks during the early hours of Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. Powell’s connection to these crimes was established through the matching vehicle and weapon. The victims were found asleep in open areas like alleys or sidewalks, with the attacks occurring in different locations not typically frequented by large numbers of homeless people.
In response to the serial killings, Mayor Karen Bass urged homeless individuals not to sleep alone and announced the opening of emergency shelters. District Attorney George Gascón ensured the availability of emergency shelters, emphasizing the importance of seeking shelter and staying together. The city aims to provide immediate support and protection to the vulnerable homeless population.
Nicholas Simbolon, a 42-year-old county employee, was Powell’s first known victim. Described as a kind and hardworking individual, Simbolon had a significant impact on his workplace, contributing to the development of an innovative IT system for the county’s budget process. His tragic death marked the beginning of Powell’s crime spree, leading to increased vigilance and collaborative efforts by law enforcement to bring the suspected serial killer to justice.