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Northridge shooting scene appears to be unlicensed boarding house

December 2, 2012 |  9:39 am


This post has been updated. See the note below for details.

The two-story house in Northridge where four people were fatally shot early Sunday appears to be an unlicensed boarding house, officials said.

Los Angeles police received a call of shots fired at the house in the 17400 block of Devonshire Street about 4:25 a.m., authorities said. Officers arrived to find four adult victims lying face-down outside the two-story house, they said.

No weapon was found at the scene, officials said, and no other information was immediately available about the victims.

There were multiple people in the house at the time of the shooting, authorities said, and detectives were interviewing some of the residents.

It appears that the house was an unlicensed rooming house or boarding house, said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who was at the scene early Sunday. Englander’s council district includes the Northridge and Granada Hills area.

The shootings in what is mostly a quiet and safe neighborhood was shocking, Englander said. The crime scene is within walking distance of the Devonshire police station.

[Updated, 10:02 a.m. Dec. 2: The violent crime rate for Northridge falls in the middle of all Los Angeles city neighborhoods, but homicide is rare in the community, according to LAPD data analyzed in The Times Crime L.A. database.

In the previous six months, Northridge had one homicide among the 89 violent crimes reported. The location of the homicides discovered Sunday is on the border with Granada Hills, which typically has a much lower violent-crime rate than Northridge.

Since 2007 -- prior to Sunday's quadruple homicide -- Northridge had 11 homicides, all but one south of Nordhoff Street, according to L.A. County coroner's data compiled in The Times Homicide Report. The most recent took place Sept. 25, when Louis Villegas, 25, was fatally shot near Balboa Boulevard and Parthenia Street. Villegas was riding in a Lexus that had pulled over to the side of the road when a man approached and began shooting.]


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-- Kate Mather in Northridge

Photo: Detectives investigate the crime scene on Devonshire Street in Northridge. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times