At least 3 dead in shooting in Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles
At least three people were killed and four injured Saturday morning in a shooting in an upscale neighborhood in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles, authorities said.
Three people were killed inside a vehicle on the street and four were injured outside, a police source told The Times. The three people killed were women, who were between 20 and 30 years old, another police source said. The suspect(s) remain at large.
sergeant. Bruce Borihanh of the Los Angeles Police Department said the property was a “short-term rental home” and a rally was taking place at the time.
“We called it a rally, until we could interview some of the people who were here to determine exactly what type of rally it was,” he told reporters at the scene.
He said the attack wasn’t random. Neighbors reported seeing several cars drive away from the scene minutes after the shots were fired. Authorities towed a black Mazda SUV Saturday afternoon that had bullet holes on both sides of the car and in the passenger-side window.
Los Angeles Fire Department officials responded to the shooting at 2:55 a.m. in the 2700 block of Ellison Drive, a street of large hillside homes north of Beverly Hills. Los Angeles police were also at the scene.
Few details were immediately available, but police said the injured were taken to local hospitals, according to LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tippet. Two are listed in critical condition and two were stable.
A coroner’s official said around 10 a.m. that investigators were still at the scene and had not yet identified the victims.
The entire block was cordoned off early Saturday with crime scene tape and several police vehicles were at the scene. LAPD medical examiners are on the scene looking for evidence.
Investigators were also collecting video footage from neighborhood security cameras, according to a police source.
Ellison Drive is a cul-de-sac nestled in a maze of streets lined with attractive homes and manicured landscaping.
“It’s a pretty quiet area. My family has been here forever,” said Rachel David, a resident in her late 20s.
David left the house to meet friends around 11 a.m. Friday evening. When she returned the next morning around 5 a.m. and saw rows of flashing police cars, she initially wondered if it was a film shoot, a fairly common occurrence in the region. Then she spotted a large white van which she believed to be the coroner’s.
“I’m waiting for my Ubers right on this corner,” David said, pointing to the intersection of Ellison and Arby drives, where the yellow police tape was. “Not anymore.”
David’s mother, who declined to give her name, said the sound of police helicopters woke her around 3am.
“Now you know why moms worry about their kids when they go out late,” the woman said.
“I just feel very bad,” she added, pointing with her cup of coffee to the blocked street where the bodies of the three victims were still in the car.
The women live around the corner from the crime scene with David’s grandmother, who has lived in the house as the original owner since the 1960s. For decades it was a quiet neighborhood of longtime residents . Over the past five years, as many of the original owners have passed away, many homes have been converted to rental properties, the women said.
“Literally, I don’t even lock my car at night, it’s so safe,” David said. “Even people who try to find our house can’t find it.”
An Ellison Drive resident who declined to be named said the sound of police helicopters circling the neighborhood also woke her up at 3 a.m.
She assumed the police were looking for suspects involving a less serious crime, possibly robbery. Then his phone rang a few hours later.
“My dog walker woke me up at 6:30 a.m. and was like, ‘Oh my god, are you okay?'” the woman said. “Then I realized it was way more serious than someone having their jewelry stolen.”
A resident of the neighborhood for several decades, she describes it as a quiet neighborhood that has seen an influx of short-term tenants in recent years.
Several homes had recently undergone renovations and appeared to have been converted to short-term rentals.
“There are party houses up there,” she said. “I was always curious about what was going to happen up the hill.”
Several homes in the neighborhood are listed on Airbnb and Vrbo, ranging from $600 to $7,500 a night.
Frank Coraci, a director who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years, said he occasionally rents out his house.
He has had a tenant for eight months and now lives about 10 minutes away. When he heard about the shooting, he headed straight.
“It freaked us out, three people died. I could have walked my dog,” he said.
The cul-de-sac has been home to several famous occupants, Coraci said. A sleek, modern mansion across from the murder scene is often rented out for upscale parties, he said.
The neighborhood has seen frequent house parties at rented homes during the COVID-19 lockdown, he said.
Benedict Canyon is a celebrity favorite because it feels quiet and secluded despite being a short drive from town, said Joel Gilman, a retired advertising executive who bought his home in 1971 to $58,000.
“It’s like being a million miles away, except the city and the valley are a five-minute drive away,” Gilman said.
While Benedict Canyon once had a rustic air — some residents rode horses through the streets when Gilman moved in — the neighborhood has been transformed by investors building 10,000-square-foot homes for sale or rent, he said. declared.
Gilman said he saw a rental listing for a house on the street where the shooting took place for $100,000 a month.
He said he didn’t hear the sound of a party or gunshots on Friday night. He was shocked that the suspect(s) managed to escape, given the neighborhood’s dead ends and winding roads.
Benedict Canyon has been the site of several high-profile murders over the years, including the Manson family murders and the murder of Susan Berman, who was shot in the back of the neck by her best friend, real estate scion Robert Durst.
But “it’s really not typical,” said Samantha Anobile, a real estate agent who lives down the street from the filming location.
Shortly after 9 a.m., a group of people gathered outside the strip blocking Ellison Drive, wondering how they were going to get to their jobs at homes along the blocked street.
“I don’t live here, I’m just coming for work,” said a woman who had carried a red vacuum cleaner to the top of the hilly street to find the last steps of her route blocked. After a short conversation, a police officer lifted the tape to allow her and another woman to carry two bags of cleaning supplies.
Another woman wrapped in a cardigan and headband holding back graying hair looked down the street toward her employer’s house.
His employer’s dog, a robust bulldog, pulled a pink leash at his feet. Her employer was not home, said the woman, who declined to be named.
“I worked yesterday [until] 5 hours and everything is fine,” she said. She was surprised to come to work this morning and stumble upon this scene in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. “Here, everything is fine.”
Filming takes place just a week after 11 people were fatally injured in a mass shooting in Monterey Park. Three days later, a gunman killed seven people at two farms around Half Moon Bay.