Northridge slayings: 75 code violations alleged at boarding house
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Code enforcement officials say they found 75 violations in the unlicensed boarding house in Northridge where four people were killed last week, Los Angles Police officials told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Monday.
Officers went to the home in the 17400 block of Devonshire Street in Northridge about 4:25 a.m. Dec. 2 after a 911 caller reported hearing yelling and shots fired, police said. Authorities found four people — two men and two women — shot dead outside.
The home, which officials believe was housing as many as 17 people, was not licensed and was also not known to be a problem house, LAPD Capt. Kris E. Pitcher told the committee.
‘It was off of our radar screen,’ he said.
However, he added that residents in the neighborhood have since told police the home was a nuisance and that they hadn’t previously issued complaints out of fear of retaliation.
‘They said they were not willing to come forward out of fear of the residents,’ Pitcher said. Despite denials by the home’s owner that he was running a boarding house, city officials say the home showed all of the usual signs of an unlicensed group home.
Officials who have toured the home said it had been segmented into numerous small spaces with several entrances. The indoor staircase was blocked off, and an outdoor staircase had been built to create another entrance.
Yag Kapil, who said he has owned the property since 1968, told The Times last week that he rented out rooms but was not running a boarding house. Bedridden, he said he was sleeping at the time of the shooting and did not know any of the victims.
Los Angeles County coroner’s officials identified the victims as Amanda Ghossein, 24, of Monterey Park; Jennifer Kim, 26, of Montebello; Robert Calabia, 34, of Los Angeles; and Teofilo Navales, 49, of Castaic. Police have arrested four suspects -- Ka Pasasouk, 31, of Los Angeles; Howard Alcantara, 30, of Glendale; Donna Rabulan, 30, of Los Angeles; and Christina Neal, 33, of Los Angeles -- in connection with the crime. Pasasouk was arrested on suspicion of murder, police said. The three others face charges of aiding a felon; Alcantara faces an additional charge of robbery.
All four remain in Nevada awaiting an extradition hearing.
The shooting added new urgency to a two-year attempt by some city officials to update the municipal code’s definition of a boarding house to make them easier to police. The new information on the Northridge home was presented during discussion of a proposed ordinance that would define any home with more than three leases as a boarding house and require that it be licensed.
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-- Wesley Lowery at Los Angeles City Hall