67 arrested, 4 shot during underground LA area parties that violated COVID-19 health orders

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. — California authorities cracking down on “super-spreader” events arrested dozens of people at illegal parties across the Los Angeles area over the weekend, with shootings at two parties leaving one dead and three wounded.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joana Warren told KABC that 67 arrests were made at underground parties late Saturday and early Sunday. Partygoers are accused of violating the county’s health orders aimed at containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A third party was shut down by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department after a shooting occurred nearby, the TV station reported.

A fatal shooting occurred at the first party in downtown Los Angeles just before authorities arrived. The victim was a 25-year-old man, who has not been identified, while a 25-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were struck by bullets and required hospitalization, KABC reported.

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The second party, which did not erupt in gunfire, occurred in Compton, and the third in Arlington Heights was shut down by the LAPD following the nearby shooting for which no details have been released, the TV station reported.

Warren told KABC that six juveniles were among 60 adults arrested and charged with misdemeanors, while one adult was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm. Deputies also found evidence that nitrous oxide had been used recreationally at one of the gatherings, she said.

All three incidents occurred weeks after Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva denounced such underground parties as “super-spreader” events and vowed to take action against massive gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, KTLA reported.

“This was a flagrant violation of the governor’s health order. But also, please understand, even without the health order, these actions were criminal in nature,” Villanueva said during a Dec. 8 news conference announcing the arrests of more than 150 people and the recovery of at least one minor suspected of being sexually trafficked at an underground party in Palmdale.

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