Three who overdosed on fentanyl in downtown L.A. are identified

A crime scene investigator leaves a downtown L.A. apartment building.
A crime scene investigator leaves a downtown L.A. apartment building where three men were found dead this week after overdosing on fentanyl.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

All three men who died after ingesting fentanyl in a downtown Los Angeles apartment this week have been identified, authorities said.

Jason Turnage, 47, and Mirko Salaris, 48, were identified by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office as two of the men who were found dead at an apartment building in the 600 block of Spring Street. The third victim, whose name was released by authorities several days after his body was discovered, has been identified as Gary Reilly, 28.

Los Angeles police found the men’s bodies inside the apartment building early Thursday after one of the men’s relatives requested a welfare check. Firefighters and paramedics were prevented from entering the unit after officers spotted white powder near the bodies and called the hazardous materials team, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Robert Kechder lives on the same floor as the apartment where the men were found and said Salaris worked as a DJ at a neighborhood bar.

“Whoever gave this to him, I hope they catch him because he was a good guy,” Kechder said. “He was the very first person when I moved into this building to say ‘hello’ to me and ‘how are you.’”


Another neighbor, who did not wish to be named, said Salaris was outgoing and generous, often giving imported ham and cheese to his neighbors. The neighbor added that building residents are upset and confused by Salaris’ death.

A Facebook page with Salaris’ name says he was originally from Italy.

An LAPD officer at the scene was taken to a hospital after possibly inhaling fentanyl and was listed as stable. There was no new information about the officer’s condition on Friday.

Fentanyl, which is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine, is used to treat severe pain in medical settings, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Times reporter Hyeyoon Alyssa Choi and photographer Irfan Khan contributed to this report.