LOS ANGELES - Authorities Friday announced the arrest of three reputed gang members from Chicago in connection with an "ambush-style" shooting on Jan. 28 in the Beverly Crest area that left three women dead.
Daries Stanford, 28, Dontae Williams, 22, and DeJean Thompkins, 28, were all arrested in the past few weeks, police said. Thompkins and Williams are both in custody in Chicago, while Stanford is in custody in New York. All are awaiting extradition.
A representative from the District Attorney's Office said the three suspects have all been charged with multiple counts of murder. In a rare move under District Attorney George Gascón, the office has also filed special circumstance allegations in the case, which could lead to sentences of life in prison without parole.
According to the D.A.'s Office, Stanford and Williams were both charged with three counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Thompkins was charged with four counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
Police said Thompkins is connected to the December killing in North Hollywood, but it's unclear if the other two had any involvement in that slaying.
Police would not discuss a motive for the slayings, but noted the victim in the North Hollywood killing, Julian Bynum, was also from Chicago. Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Jonathan Tippet said the three women killed in the Beverly Crest area were not believed to have been the intended targets of the gunmen, but Bynum was specifically targeted. Police, however, did not elaborate on why they believed Bynum was targeted.
Iyana Hutton, 33, of Chicago; Nenah Davis, 29, of Bolingbrook, Illinois; and Destiny Sims, 26, of Buckeye, Arizona, were fatally shot in a parked car in the 2700 block of North Ellison Drive in the early morning hours of Jan. 28, according to the LAPD.
The shooting was reported at about 2:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of North Ellison Drive, according to the LAPD.
"A group of young adults that have known each other growing up came out to Los Angeles in support of a Chicago rapper. They rented a vacation rental. And on the night of the incident, while returning home from a night of bowling," Capt. Tippet said.
The women were found fatally shot inside a parked car outside a residence that authorities said was being used as a short-term rental. Police said there was a gathering at the location.
Authorities said at least 30 shots were fired, and witnesses told investigators that several cars were seen driving away from the area after the gunfire erupted.
Detectives from the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division were assigned to handle the investigation.
"As the homicide investigation continued, detectives compiled and disseminated a Crime Alert with information they received from both witnesses and nearby surveillance video," an LAPD statement said.
"Detectives discovered that the suspects responsible for the triple homicide were last seen driving a blue 4-door Tesla with damage to the right front fender and no license plates," the statement said.
Tips from people who saw a vehicle matching that description in the West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills areas led investigators to an apartment building in the 8600 block of Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
On March 29, detectives served a search warrant at the apartment building. Detectives discovered that the apartment was empty, and processed the scene for possible forensic evidence left behind by the suspects.
"On behalf of the LAPD, we are saddened by this horrible loss of life and hope the arrests of those responsible for these acts will bring some comfort to the families and friends who lost their loved ones," Capt. Tippet said.
Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call the Robbery-Homicide Division at 213-486-6890, 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
CNS contributed to this report.