Four people killed and one injured in ‘ambush’ shooting at party in Inglewood
Four people were killed and one person was injured early on Sunday after more than 40 rounds were fired in an ‘ambush’ at a birthday party in Inglewood. The city’s mayor called the shooting the worst act of violence in the city in years.
Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at 1:43 a.m. to a home in the 1300 block of Park Avenue, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher. The house was an Airbnb short-term rental, one of the tenants said. Sources said those involved in the crime were linked to a gang, but officials said they did not know the motive for the shooting and were looking for suspects.
Two of the victims who were killed, Breahna Stines and Marneysha Hamilton, were sisters. Their mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Tiffney, said the family gathered on Saturday at the home where the shooting took place to celebrate Stines’ 20th birthday, which was Sunday. Hamilton was 25 years old.
“They were both outgoing, beautiful girls,” the mother said, sitting next to a display of candles and two large photographs of her daughters that had been placed on the sidewalk at the crime scene. “They both had a future ahead of them, and to have it taken away from them,” their mother said, her voice trailing off.
She declined to discuss the shooting but said the other two victims were not family members and she did not know them.
At a news conference, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. said multiple weapons were used, including an assault rifle and a handgun in what he described as a “ambush”. The victims appeared to have been targeted, he added.
“This is the highest number of gunshot victims who have been injured in this city since the 1990s”, Butts told reporters. “When I think about it and hear of a crime like this anywhere in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, these are sociopathic killers who need to be sequestered from society. “
Butts urged the suspects to surrender. “We will find you and prosecute you,” he said.
Later that day, Butts said the attack “wasn’t random and had to do with the people who were supposed to be at the party.”
Authorities had not released the names of the victims Sunday evening.
The street where the shooting occurred is lined with one- and two-story homes, not far from Edward Vincent Jr. Park and Centinela Elementary School. It’s less than two miles from the new SoFi Stadium, which will host the NFC Championship Game next week and the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.
The house had been rented for two weeks through Airbnb by a group of Swedish tourists, according to a man who waited outside the crime scene on Sunday evening.
The man, who identified himself as an Airbnb guest but declined to give his name, said he woke up early Sunday to the sound of 10 gunshots in quick succession. He did not know the people who were killed because they were not part of his group, he said.
Holding a grocery bag full of bottled water, the man said he was not allowed to enter the house 6 p.m. after the shooting because the coroner was still at work.
The killings come amid a two-year rise in homicides in Los Angeles County – and other places across the country – that have raised alarm.
The city of Los Angeles saw nearly 400 murders in 2021, marking the highest number of homicides of any year since 2007. Young Latino and black men continue to be overrepresented among the dead, the data shows.
A Times analysis of murders in LA County in the first 11 months of 2021 showed large increases in neighborhoods such as Watts and adjacent Florence-Firestone, which each had more than 20 murders, and in other cities in the greater LA area, including Compton and Long Beach, which each had more than 30.
Inglewood has not seen the same increase in murders in 2021 as some neighboring areas. According to data from The Times, from January to November 2021, the city recorded 13 homicides, one more than during the same period in 2020. More recent data was not immediately available.
Inglewood has seen a major revitalization in recent years, centered around SoFi Stadium. Home prices have recently soared in parts of the city of 107,000, thanks in part to new restaurants and businesses and the planned opening of the $2 billion Crenshaw light rail line.
Times writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.