Jerrid Joseph Powell is the suspect accused in the murders of three homeless individuals in Los Angeles, California, as well as the shooting death of a Los Angeles County IT worker he’s suspected of following home from an electric car charging station, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced in a statement and press conference.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore called the slayings a “serial murder” case in a news conference. He said that Powell was already in custody in the IT worker’s murder when police connected his firearm to the three homeless men’s unprovoked slayings.
LASD Sheriff Robert Luna joined the Los Angeles Police Department in “announcing the arrest of the senseless murder suspect of three individuals experiencing homelessness in the city of Los Angeles and his connection to the murder of Mr. Nicholas Simbolon in San Dimas on November 28, 2023,” according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department.
“The amazing coordination and communication between our partner agencies, along with technology, helped take this dangerous individual off our streets and protect our community. Sheriff Luna is extremely thankful for the joint efforts across agencies that made the community safer,” the sheriff’s news release stated.
“A public bulletin is released today with a photograph of Suspect Jerrid Joseph Powell and his vehicle (Charcoal 2024 BMW M440i, 4 door, California License Plate “9JOE329”) seeking additional victims,” the release says. However, Powell and his vehicle were then located.
Here’s what you need to know:
Jerrid Joseph Powell Is Accused of Following Nicholas Simbolon, a Married Father of 2, Home From the Charging Station in a Robbery, Authorities Say
A special bulletin describes Powell as a Black male, 6 foot 1 inches tall, 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
“On Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at approximately 6:48 p.m., suspect Jerrid Joseph Powell is alleged to have robbed and killed Victim Nicholas Simbolon at his San Dimas home,” the alert says. “Detectives believe that the victim was followed home by Powell.”
In a news conference, Luna said Simbolon arrived home in San Dimas. He parked his car in a garage when the suspect identified as Powell, 33, of Los Angeles “entered the garage and robbed the victim of some personal belongings.”
According to Luna, the suspect then “senselessly shot the victim and fled the crime scene.” A relative of the victim found him unresponsive in the garage, the sheriff said, adding that Simbolon died of a gunshot wound to his upper body.
Surveillance video showed Simbolon was likely followed home from an electric charging station, Luna said, adding that authorities obtained video of the car, which led to the suspect. Officers in Beverly Hills located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop, Luna said, adding that Powell was located as the “occupant of this vehicle.” A firearm was found that is the likely murder weapon, the sheriff said, adding that, initially, authorities thought it was an isolated incident.
KTLA-TV reported that Simbolon drove a Tesla.
Luna said he doesn’t believe the victim’s employment played any role in the murder, adding that Simbolon was a tenured Los angeles county employee who worked for the Los Angeles County Executive’s office in IT; he’s survived by his wife and sons ages 8 and 10.
Simbolon was described in the news conference as a “kind, gentle and hard working” county employee for seven years who previously worked for the court system as a business system analyst and who developed software applications to manage things like the budget.
Jerrid Powell Is Accused of Murdering 3 Homeless Men ‘Without Provocation’
Chief Michael Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news conference that police were investigating a “senseless series” of three murders.
Over a few short days, Powell murdered three homeless men “without provocation” as they slept alone, according to Moore.
Police assembled a task force after learning the murders were connected, Moore said. He called the crimes “heinous” and announced that the suspect was arrested. He indicated that Powell is believed to have murdered four people over four days.
He said one of the city’s “most vulnerable populations” was being victimized.
Moore said the murder weapon found in Powell’s car was linked to the other three homicides, as was Powell’s car.
According to Moore, police have not determined a motive for the three homeless men’s homicides.
The chief said two of the homeless victims were Jose Bolanos, 37, and Mark Diggs, 62. The third victim, a 52-year-old man, has not yet been identified.
The Mayor Said There Was a ‘Killer on the Loose’
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said in the news conference that authorities made the arrest 24 hours after announcing that there was a “killer on the loose.”
She said officials are working to confront the “homelessness crisis.”
Bass said teams alerted the homeless community about the shooting spree.
Also speaking in the news conference, District Attorney George Gascon referred to the homicides as “a series of killings” and pledged to hold the suspect “accountable.” He said law enforcement’s quick action in identifying a suspect likely saved lives.
The chief said that Powell is a felon, and authorities don’t know if there are other victims. “So did this person start Sunday morning and this is the limit? It begs the question . . . and this will be something that will work with our federal partners as well to see what his movements are, what his life patterns are,” Moore said. “How did he exist, and where did he exist? And is there a path of destruction behind him that we have not yet determined?”
“I know based on his criminal history, he didn’t just start doing this a week ago,” Luna said at the press conference, but they did not detail Powell’s criminal history.