LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Three Chicago men with reputed gang ties in that area were in custody Friday and awaiting extradition to Los Angeles to face multiple murder charges stemming from an “ambush style” shooting in the Beverly Crest area that left three women dead.
One of the suspects is also believed to be connected to the December killing of a man — also from Chicago — in North Hollywood, police said. Both shootings are believed to be tied to gang activity originating in Chicago, with all of the suspects and the targeted victims from that city, according to investigators.
Daries Stanford, 28, Dontae Williams, 22, and Dejean Thompkins, 28, were all arrested over the past month, police said. Thompkins and Williams are both in custody in Chicago, while Stanford is in custody in New York.
A representative from the District Attorney’s Office said the three suspects have all been charged with multiple counts of murder. In a rare move under District Attorney George Gascón, the office has also filed special circumstance allegations in the case, which could lead to sentences of life in prison without parole.
Stanford and Williams were charged Monday with three counts each of murder and six counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, while Thompkins was charged with four counts of murder and six counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Police said Thompkins is connected to the December killing in North Hollywood, but it’s unclear if the other two had any involvement in that slaying.
Iyana Hutton, 33, of Chicago; Nenah Davis, 29, of Boilingbrook, Illinois; and Destiny Sims, 26, of Buckeye, Arizona, were fatally shot in a parked car in the 2700 block of North Ellison Drive in the early morning hours of Jan. 28, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The shooting was reported at about 2:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of North Ellison Drive, according to the LAPD.
The women were found fatally shot inside a parked car outside a residence that authorities said was being used as a short-term rental. Police said there was a gathering at the location, and multiple other victims were injured in the shooting but survived.
Authorities said at least 30 shots were fired, and witnesses told investigators that several cars were seen driving away from the area after the gunfire erupted.
Speaking at a news conference Friday morning, LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tippet, commander of the Robbery-Homicide Division, said the three women who died were not the intended targets of the gunmen, but were shot during an ambush style attack aimed at others.
“A group of young adults that had known each other growing up came out to Los Angeles in support of a Chicago rapper,” Tippet said. “They rented a vacation rental, and on the night of the incident, while returning home from a night of bowling, an ambush-style attack occurred that left three people dead and four others shot. Two of those were in critical condition but thankfully survived.”
He insisted that the three women who died “were not the intended targets” of the shooting.
Detectives investigating that shooting ultimately tied the ambush to the Dec. 16, 2022, killing of Julian Bynum, 30, of Chicago, who was shot multiple times on a sidewalk in the 6800 block of Simpson Avenue. Bynum is believed to have been specifically targeted, Tippet said.
“In both of these cases, the suspects used ambush-style tactics on their unsuspecting victims,” Tippet said. “Planning and coordination was utilized to carry out these murderous attacks.”
Tippet declined to specify exactly what led investigators to the suspects or explain any possible motive, saying only that the killings are “associated with Chicago.” He said the three suspects are “involved in a gang and connected to a gang,” and come from an area that is within miles of where the intended shooting targets live in Chicago.
“The violence that occurs in Chicago today is having an effect all of us, and we’ve become aware that it is affecting other states as well,” Tippet said.
There was no immediate word on when the suspects would be brought to Los Angeles.
In a statement released shortly after the arrests were announced, Gascón said in a statement, "This was a careless and senseless act that has left the victims' families stunned and devastated. This is another example of the widespread damage that can be done by gun violence. We must do more — whether it is through legislation or education — to stop mass shootings in order to make every community in Los Angeles County safer."
On the night of the Beverly Crest shooting, the suspects were seen driving a blue four-door Tesla with damage to the right front fender and no license plates, police said at the time.
Tips from people who saw a vehicle matching that description in the West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills areas led investigators to an apartment building in the 8600 block of Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
On March 29, detectives served a search warrant at the apartment building. Detectives discovered that the apartment was empty and processed the scene for possible forensic evidence left behind by the suspects.
Anyone with additional information about the shooting was urged to call the Robbery-Homicide Division at 213-486-6890, 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.