A homeless woman was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of fatally shooting a homeless man in Mid-Wilshire hours earlier, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Eva Fekete, 71, of Los Angeles was booked on a murder count and is being held in lieu of $2-million bail, police said. The case will be reviewed for possible charging by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Fekete could not be reached for comment and did not have an attorney listed in court records.
Officers responded to the reported shooting near the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Ridgeley Drive, just east of the La Brea Tar Pits and near a Ralphs supermarket, about 12:40 p.m. Wednesday and found a man believed to be in his 40s suffering from a gunshot wound, police said.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He has yet to be identified, police said.
About 7 p.m., officers patrolling the area of the shooting spotted a vehicle belonging to Fekete, who had been identified as a suspect, and arrested her. Police said they recovered a weapon during the arrest.
A preliminary investigation indicated that Fekete and the man did not know each other but had "been involved in a verbal dispute prior to the shooting," police said.
The shooting comes amid a continuing surge in gun violence in the city. It also was the latest incident of violence that appeared to fit a growing trend in L.A. of people who are experiencing homelessness becoming involved in violent crime, as both suspects and victims.
As of Tuesday, L.A. had seen 162 homicides this year, compared with 129 at the same point last year. It had 651 shootings, compared with 434 at the same point last year. On average, 27 people are being shot per week this year in L.A., compared with 18 in 2020.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission on Tuesday that "the influences on this continue to be gang-related as well as persons experiencing homelessness."
The number of homicides linked to homeless people — either as suspects or victims — is up by several killings over this time last year, Moore said. He did not give a total.
Such killings were also up last year over 2019.
Moore has previously said that criminal gangs have taken advantage of pandemic-related rules allowing homeless encampments to remain in place — turning some of them into hubs for dealing drugs and conducting other gang business out in the open.
Moore has said that gangs have targeted people experiencing homelessness, including over debts, and that homeless people have committed violence over interpersonal disputes as well.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.