Just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday, crews responded to a reported shooting in the 13000 block of Mulholland Drive in the Beverly Crest neighborhood, where three gunshot victims were found, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
One victim, identified by police as a 35-year-old woman, was in grave condition and later died. Two victims were reported to be in critical but stable condition. All three were transported to a hospital, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
A fourth person suffered a wrist injury while fleeing the scene, fire officials said. Another individual also sustained non-life threatening injuries and was found further away from the property.
A man who attended the party told ABC7 that he was there to shoot a music video. He said everything appeared to be fine until all of a sudden, partygoers heard gunshots.
Another man said many who attended the party did wear masks, but they didn't keep the coverings on.
"A lot of people had masks, some people took it off though, but people had masks," he said. "It was a positive vibe inside. Outside man, I don't know whatever happened outside, you know?"
LAPD officers arrived at the mansion gates earlier on Monday evening, but the huge party just kept on going.
Speaking to reporters at the scene Tuesday morning, Lt. Chris Ramirez said officers initially departed after guests who had spilled out onto street returned to the property and the music volume was "deemed to be in compliance." However, several parking citations were issued and a number of vehicles were towed.
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News video from AIR7 HD showed several hundred people and several dozen cars in the long driveway. There was a food truck in the driveway and a DJ by the swimming pool.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, health officials have been warning that such mass gatherings are "super spreaders" of the coronavirus.
The LAPD told ABC7 there was nothing they could do earlier because the partygoers were not breaking any laws at the time, and the agency is not enforcing health code violations.
"We did come out here for the public disturbance calls. It was a private party, it was indoors. The main thing is...how do you enforce the fact that it's a private party," said Lt. Ramirez, adding that the mansion was being used as a vacation rental.
Ramirez said the motive for the homicide, which was being investigated as gang-related, was unknown. No suspects have been identified or found.
State officials said they rely on local authorities to enforce health officer orders.
"Not only does an event, a large gathering at a house or anywhere create a high-risk for those individuals who attended and their immediate family, but it does put in jeopardy our entire strategy as a set of 40 million Californians, 10 million Angelenos, wherever your local community is, to really put, really bring down transmission rates across the state," said California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
Parties of any size are banned in L.A. County, which has left many residents angry that this mansion party was not shut down, not just to prevent the shooting, but also stop the potential spread of COVID-19.
"The citations are issued against the owner or the operator of the party," said L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer. "If the police department refers these matters to us, we can even charge the matter as a misdemeanor or a criminal offense."
Whoever rented out the home will likely receive some sort of citation or possibly more. But that doesn't change the fact that a woman is now dead.
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