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"No care in his actions;" Expert looks at killer's unusual pattern after shooting 4 men in 4 days

Felon accused of shooting four men in four days across LA County awaiting court appearance
Felon accused of shooting four men in four days across LA County awaiting court appearance 03:05

The man accused of fatally shooting three homeless men and Los Angeles County employee during a follow-home robbery last week is behind bars, awaiting additional charges come Monday. 

Jerrid Joseph Powell, the man in custody for fatally shooting four men in four days across Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, is a convicted felon who was arrested last week after he was connected to the shooting death of a San Dimas man that was found dead inside of his garage after being followed home from an electric vehicle charging station. 

Police arrested Powell days after the shooting, thanks to front-of-the-line technology that alerted investigators when cameras matched a car with his license plate in Beverly Hills, which was inputted into the system for it's connection to the shooting in San Dimas. 

While behind bars, Los Angeles law enforcement departments began to desperately search for a supposed serial killer who they believed was "preying on the unhoused," after three homeless men were found shot to death in consecutive days. 

However, their investigation revealed that Powell was the same man they were looking for all along, connecting both his vehicle and the handgun used to all four murders that happened in four consecutive days from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29.

"A homicidal serial killer is what we know today," said Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore on Saturday, after they announced that they believed Powell was responsible in the brutal crimes. 

The series of events put the Los Angeles County area in a brief panic, forcing city officials to warn the homeless population to seek refuge and find a safe place to shelter

As he awaits his first court appearance, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón and his staff are working on further charges for Powell, who is being held on $2 million bail.

KCAL News spoke with a former prosecutor, who offers a look at the unusual pattern that Powell took from a "traditional" serial killer, who usually follows a more strict pattern. 

Ambrosio Rodriguez is a former prosecutor who now works as a defense attorney. He says that strictly speaking serial killers tend to operate on a strict M.O., and though Powell did technically do so by allegedly targeting and killing the three homeless men, the San Dimas murder broke from that. 

Surveillance camera images released by law enforcement as they searched for the killer of three homeless men in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles Police Department

However, Rodriguez says there is still a common theme amongst the crimes shown in the reports and videos released thus far, all of which show blatant cold-blooded behavior. 

"it's depraved and it's indifferent, right? It is almost like watching someone who just wants to see people die and be the cause of that death," Rodriguez said. 

While there are many immediate questions that remain about Powell's lengthy and violent criminal past, which investigators have only alluded to thus far, Rodriguez says the alleged conduct seems to be sociopathic, including the fact that the car he used in each instance is a brand new BMW M440i.  

"Obviously, there's no care in his actions and not getting caught, right?" Rodriguez said. "He was in the same car over and over ... it doesn't show that he had any attempt to hide his identity or to avoid being caught. It gives the impression of someone who's trying to do it for as long as he can until he gets caught."

As of now, investigators have been unable to determine a relationship between Powell and any of the four victims. They are still working to determine if he is connected to any other crimes that have happened in the surrounding area in recent weeks. 

"Based on his criminal history, he didn't just start doing this a week ago," Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press conference on Saturday. 

On top of that Rodriguez noted that the case will likely draw national attention as it dove tails into two massive issues often faced in large urban centers — an exploding homeless population and a spike in homicide rates. 

"It matters in terms of evaluating his psychological reasons if in fact he did this. It matters because why was this rage directed at this very vulnerable population? There's some kind of role-playing going on in his head in him doing that. ... He did that allegedly for a purpose, psychologically. It fit in a narrative in his head. That's what the prosecution is gonna say."

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