LA homeless murders: Suspect arrested connected to fatal San Dimas follow-home robbery, police say

The Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect Saturday that they believe is connected to the string of murders involving three homeless individuals. Authorities also believe this suspect is responsible for the follow-home robbery and murder of San Dimas father Nicholas Simbolon earlier this week.

Officials arrested 33-year-old Jerrid Joseph Powell on suspicion of all four murders. He was apprehended when his vehicle was stopped by authorities.

A handgun recovered from Powell's vehicle following Simbolon's murder was used in the three homeless killings, said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Powell's vehicle was also present at all four crime scenes, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, Simbolon, who worked as a project manager in the Los Angeles County executive office, was found by his wife inside his Tesla in the garage of the home, suffering from a gunshot to the upper body, according to witnesses and sheriff's officials. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

According to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, surveillance video determined that Simbolon was followed home from an electric-vehicle charging station in the 200 block of South Citrus Street in West Covina. The suspect approached Simbolon in the garage, stole some unspecified items, then "senselessly" shot him, said LASD Chief Robert Luna.

A mugshot of Jerrid Joseph Powell, a red box at the bottom reads "Suspect arrested 11/30/23."

Jerrid Joseph Powell was arrested on Nov. 30 under suspicion of shooting and killing man in San Dimas during a follow-home robbery. LA County officials also believe he's responsible for murdering three homeless people throughout the county.

Through a combination of witness interviews and photographic evidence from the night of Simbolon's murder, authorities were able to upload Powell's license plate number into their law enforcement system. Because of these efforts, Beverly Hills authorities were able to recognize the suspect's plates and detain Powell at a traffic stop later that evening.


On Friday, city officials asked for the public's help in identifying an individual they believe to be responsible for the murder of three homeless individuals in the Los Angeles area.

Three locations shown on a map revealed by the Los Angeles Police Department Friday as they ask for the public's help tracking a killer who targets homeless people. (LAPD)

The series of homicides began on Sunday, Nov. 26 in South LA, with the second on Monday, Nov. 27 in downtown Los Angeles, and the third murder on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in Lincoln Heights.

Officials identified two of those killed in this string of murders as Jose Bolanos and Mark Diggs. Police are withholding the identity of the third victim while next of kin is notified. All three victims were experiencing homelessness at the time of the murders, according to police.

Police said they believe that each victim was alone when the suspect approached them and that each was shot and killed in their sleep. 

On Friday, officials deployed extra resources to aid in the protection of LA's unhoused community and the manhunt of the suspect. A winter shelter program was activated Friday to provide additional safety for unhoused individuals.

"Many friends and family members know how to reach their unhoused relatives. We need you to contact them today," said LA Mayor Karen Bass in Friday's press conference. "We need you to tell them about this danger. We need you to tell them that they should not be alone tonight. That shelters will be open."

Authorities have not yet released a motive for these homicides. The investigation is still ongoing.