Wednesday morning incident under investigation
By Sam Catanzaro
A homicide investigation is underway following a stabbing at a homeless encampment alongside the West Los Angeles VA.
According to Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Captain Jon Tom, the incident took place Wednesday around 6:30 a.m.
“The victim, a male Veteran, intervened in a domestic violence incident between two other residents of the encampment and was stabbed. The victim was transported to the hospital and died there. LASD arrested the suspect, also a Veteran, and is handling the investigation,” Tom wrote in an incident report.
The encampment, located on Los Angeles County land, has now experienced two homicides in the past six months, following a March 4 murder. In the wake of this week’s incident, the Brentwood Community Council (BCC) called on Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to take action.
“The BCC has requested that Supervisor Sheila Kuehl initiate an ‘encampment to home’ on San Vicente program for more than 3 years. Kuehl has never agreed to cooperate. Today, we had a second murder within 6 months. Instead of the Supervisor, it is the LASD who is working on behalf of everyone by providing immediate shelter and housing options, while removing dangerous encampments,” the BCC wrote in a Wednesday afternoon email. “As of 9.8.2021, 39 homeless Veterans were living on San Vicente The V.A. has more than 500 spots available in treatment, shelter and housing programs. Some VA programs are running at less than 60% capacity. It is unsafe to remain living on the street, anywhere.”
Supervisor Kuehl issued the following statement when reached for comment:
“I am deeply saddened to hear about a homicide last night at an encampment near the Veteran’s Administration in West Los Angeles. An investigation is underway. My office along with the VA, LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), service providers, and the Sheriff’s HOST team have been working diligently to engage and move the 30-40 individuals, many of whom are veterans, into interim and permanent housing.
We will be intensifying outreach efforts with the goal of moving every encampment resident into interim and permanent housing over the next 2-3 months. Almost all current residents of this encampment are already connected to a VA housing resource, including vouchers, and many are actively looking for an apartment. But it’s clear we must accelerate the pace at which people are moved off the street. Further loss of life in this encampment is simply unacceptable.”
This story is still developing and will be updated.