Los Angeles police continue to search for a suspect and a motive in the fatal shootings of four people on the front lawn of a crowded house in Northridge early Sunday morning.
Police found four victims around 4:30 a.m. - two men and two women, lying face down on corner side of a two-story house located on the 17000 block of Devonshire St.
“There were two on the sidewalk path,” pointed out L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander. “The first victim was crouched over and the second was a little beyond that.”
Councilman Englander represents the district where the shooting occurred. He visited the scene Sunday morning.
A neighbor two houses down said she heard about four or five rapid gunshots a little after 3:30 a.m. and then the sound of a car speeding away. But she said never thought anything of it and fell back to sleep.
“I don’t think they used to rent to that many people before but like in July, I started noticing a lot of cars parking in front,” the woman said.
Englander said he didn’t know how many people lived in the house but he said there were three structures in the back of the house with makeshift kitchenettes and rooms.
“What lies behind those doors are deplorable living conditions that you wouldn’t expect animals to live in,” Englander said.
Englander said there were multiple walls, mattresses lying around, several cats and doors that wouldn’t open or were blocked by mounds of furniture.
The city’s building and safety department has launched an investigation into what officials are calling an illegal boarding home. The department’s spokesman David Lara said investigators would look into what types of permits the house may have on record and whether illegal construction has been done.
Lara said the department hasn't fielded any complaints recently. But it did come across a few from about five years ago.
“We have found that there were some complaints a few years back. But we are looking into the details of those complaints and what action the department had took at that time,” Lara said.
An elderly man named Yag Dutt Kapil told KPCC on Sunday that he owned the home and rented parts of it to about three or four other families. The bedridden man lives inside but he said he didn’t hear anything and doesn’t know the victims.
Police haven’t confirmed whether the victims had lived at the house.
One of the victims' sisters showed up at the house Monday afternoon to see where her brother had died.
Rolina Calabia said her 34-year old brother, Robert Calabia, lived with her and her mother – not at the house. Between heavy sobs, Calabia managed to say she thinks her brother knew a couple of the victims or people that lived at the house but she wasn’t really sure.
“What is the reason? That’s all I want. That’s all our family wants to know,” Calabia said as she wept.