67 arrested, 4 shot during underground LA area parties in violation of health orders

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of people, including several juveniles, were arrested at illegal parties in the Los Angeles area over the weekend -- with two gatherings ending in gunfire that left one person dead and three wounded.

Authorities are cracking down on the "super-spreader" events, with partygoers accused of violating Los Angeles County coronavirus health orders by attending the underground parties, the sheriff's department announced Monday.

Sixty-seven arrests were made at parties late Saturday and early Sunday, Deputy Joana Warren of the sheriff's department said. A third party monitored by authorities was shut down by Los Angeles Police Department officers after a shooting occurred nearby, Warren said.

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An underage girl, considered to be a sexually exploited child, was rescued, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, and six weapons were recovered.

The first party took place Saturday night in the 400 block of South Hewitt Street, near Alameda Street, in downtown Los Angeles, where, just before law enforcement officers arrived, a shooting occurred and a 25-year-old man was killed.

A 25-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were struck by bullets and hospitalized, according to Los Angeles Police Department, which investigated the shooting.

Deputies responded to the second party about 12:30 a.m. at 1916 E. Rosecrans Ave., near North Willowbrook Avenue, in Compton where "announcements were made and the location was secured,'' Warren said.

A third party in the 3600 block of Pico Boulevard, just west of Arlington Avenue in Arlington Heights, "was monitored for a possible department enforcement mission,'' Warren said.

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will begin cracking down on super-spreader events, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Thursday afternoon amid rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The party was shut down by the LAPD after a shooting in the area, she said. One person was shot, but additional details on the shooting were not immediately released.

Among the arrests were 60 adults and six juveniles accused of misdemeanors, according to Warren. Another adult was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm. Deputies found evidence of illegal use of nitrous oxide at a party, she said.

The sheriff's department deployed various specialized units to monitor and respond to the parties, including its Human Trafficking Task Force, Operation Safe Streets Bureau, Fraud and Cyber Crime Bureau, Aero Bureau and the Sheriff's Response Team, which performs crowd control operations and mass arrests.

"The goal of these enforcement actions is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the risk to our vulnerable populations,'' Warren said.
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