LAPD investigating killings of two homeless men in Pacoima

Los Angeles police on Monday said they were investigating the killings of two homeless men in separate shootings in Pacoima over the weekend.

Police said they were investigating the possibility that the two incidents, which happened close to each other, were related, but that “unfortunately, there is very little evidence in either case.”

“They are hoping anyone who was in the area of either homicide will contact detectives,” said Det. Meghan Aguilar, an LAPD spokeswoman.

The two incidents fit a years-long trend involving homeless people falling victim to L.A. gun violence in increasing numbers.

In the first incident, at about noon Saturday, a 43-year-old man was found fatally shot in a ravine near the intersection of Dronfield Avenue and Terra Bella Street, police said.

In the second incident, at about 6:45 p.m. Sunday, a 36-year-old man was fatally shot while standing on a sidewalk near a freeway overpass about a mile northwest from where the first victim was found, again on Dronfield near Paxton Street, police said.

Police had not named either victim as of Monday, citing the need to first notify their families. They said they did not have a motive or suspect in either shooting.

Through April 9, homicides in the city were down 7% from where they stood at this point last year, but were up 22.4% over the same point in 2020. The number of people who had been shot in the city, meanwhile, was down 5.6% from 2021, but up 67% from 2020.

Increases in killings of homeless people have helped fuel the overall increase in violence, with dozens of homeless victims among those killed in each of the last two years. Homeless victims have also been overrepresented among killings in other parts of L.A. County.

Police asked anyone with any information in either of the shootings to call Valley Bureau Homicide at (818) 374-9550, or (877) LAPD-24-7 during off hours or weekends. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by calling L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS, police said.

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