Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Northridge shootings were 'isolated incident,' officials say

December 2, 2012 |  1:54 pm

As investigators began removing bodies from the Northridge property where two men and two women were slain early Sunday, officials reassured residents in the quiet neighborhood that the fatal shootings were an "isolated incident."

L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who represents the area and is a reserve LAPD officer, said Sunday afternoon that based on information gathered during the investigation, the apparent homicides were a "targeted, isolated incident."

"We don't want people in the neighborhood to be concerned at all," he said.

LAPD was called to the sleepy Devonshire Street area about 4:25 a.m. after shots were fired. There, officers found the victims outside what Englander called an unlicensed boarding home.

No weapon was found and investigators are still trying to determine a motive, officials said. Three of the victims were found lying face-down, Englander said, and had been shot at close-range.

The victims have not been identified and it was unclear if they lived at the home, police said.

Englander described the living conditions at the residence as "deplorable." At least a dozen people were living in the 4-5 bedroom home, he said, with mattresses and makeshift kitchens strewn about the property.

One room was only accessible by climbing through a front window, he said.

Neighbors said the rooms appeared to be rented by single men who kept primarily to themselves. The only noticeably unusual characteristic, they said, was occasional loud music.

Crime for the last six months in Northridge:

Violent crimes (89)
Property crimes (895)

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.


Downtown L.A. streetcar system up for crucial vote

City Beat: Hollywood tourists come and go with no sun

Three in Lancaster held on $1-million bail in street-fight shooting

— Kate Mather in Northridge

Photo: Police tape was used to maintain a perimeter around the crime scene on Devonshire Street. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times