Two men arrested on suspicion of murder following a bloody gun battle at an underground Jamaican restaurant over the weekend have been released without charges, according to officials.
Mowayne McKay, 33, and Diego Reid, 25, were released from jail Tuesday evening after prosecutors said they needed additional evidence to consider formal charges against the men, according to Det. Meghan Aguilar, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Investigation into the violence that killed four is continuing, according to Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
McKay and Reid, who are Jamaican nationals, are not thought to be the men who initially confronted and killed the first victim at at the non-permitted restaurant in the West Adams neighborhood, Los Angeles Police Capt. Peter Whittingham told The Times. Those gunmen remain at large, he said.
At the time, the captain said it was not yet known how many -- if any -- people were killed by shots fired by McKay or Reid. But he said after consulting with prosecutors, police decided the evidence against the men was strong enough to arrest them.
Generally speaking, if a person has been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, but is not formally charged by prosecutors within three days, they must be released from custody.
McKay and Reid were arrested on suspicion of murder early Sunday after they were found at area hospitals seeking treatment for gunshot wounds. At the time, Whittingham said eyewitness accounts and other evidence, including videos, led police to the men.
Gunfire erupted at Dilly's Kitchen, in the 2900 block of Rimpau Boulevard, after two men confronted another man and fatally shot him, according to police. The dispute, which occurred during a birthday celebration, likely arose from a drug deal gone bad, Whittingham said.
As some 50 birthday celebrants ran for cover, a gun battle broke out between associates of the man who was killed and the two men who had confronted him, the captain said.
A total of nine men and six women were struck by gunfire. The four people who died were all men, police said. Their identities have not yet been released.
Anyone with details about the shooting is urged to call gang homicide Dets. David Dilkes or Isidro Soto at (323) 786-5110. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or go directly to lacrimestoppers.
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