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Suspect in L.A.-area shootings is arrested in Las Vegas, police say

This news story was published on December 5, 2012.
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By Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Police Department detectives have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting deaths of four people in Northridge, Calif., outside an unlicensed boarding home, department officials confirmed Tuesday.

Few details were released about the circumstances of the arrest, which took place without incident overnight in Las Vegas, according to several sources familiar with the case.

Police would not immediately identify the suspect, citing the ongoing investigation, but said he was involved in the shooting early Sunday.

Sources said the shooting may have been prompted by a personal dispute, but did not elaborate.

Officers responded to a home about 4:25 a.m. PST Sunday after a 911 caller reported yelling and shots fired, police said. Authorities found four people — two men and two women — shot dead outside.

No weapon was recovered at the home, prompting police to rule out a murder-suicide.

Three of the victims — a man and two women — were shot on the walkway on the left side of the home, a source familiar with the case told the Los Angeles Times on Monday. They were all wearing hooded sweat shirts and were about 2 feet apart from one another. All three had at least one bullet wound to the head.

“It looked like a quick kill,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

The names of the victims have not been released. Police said the women were in their mid-20s; one man was in his mid-30s and the other man in his late 40s.

Authorities said the home was an illegal boardinghouse, with up to 17 people living in conditions that Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander described as “deplorable.” The home had so much debris and so many partitions that one room could be accessed only through a window, he said. A trail of extension cords led investigators to the backyard, where several makeshift living quarters had been assembled.

The owner of the home, Yag Kapil, said he rented out rooms but denied he was running a boardinghouse. Kapil, 78, who lives at the home, said he is bedridden and was sleeping at the time of the shootings. He said he didn’t hear anything and didn’t know the victims.

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