Shots rang out from a house party in the early hours of Aug. 26 in the Beverly Crest neighborhood, sending one person to the hospital and leaving another dead. The incident marks the second fatal shooting this month at a Beverly Crest home in the Beverly Hills post office zone.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers responded to 2219 San Ysidro Drive about 2:30 a.m., where they found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. One victim was rushed to the hospital, where he was later listed in stable condition, according to the LAPD. The other, 44-year-old Deshone Lucas of Santa Clarita, died at the scene, according to the coroner’s office.
A member of the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council told the Courier that the shooting “sends a chilling message to residents and stakeholders–that our community is no longer exempt from violent crime,” he told the Courier. “This incident further illustrates there is a gap in preemptive enforcement, and the municipal ordinances for short-term rentals and party homes are not effective.”
The Neighborhood Council member also stated that the San Ysidro house has received numerous complaints for parties.
A neighbor who spoke with the Courier on the condition of anonymity said that the parties began in a big way on the Fourth of July. The neighbor estimates the house had over 100, teenage-appearing partygoers that day. After that, each weekend had a new “clown car” of people staying in the house with professional cleaning crews clearing away the debris left behind.
The neighbor filed a police report after guests from the rental allegedly trespassed in their backyard and vandalized property.
“We saw that our furniture outside our bedroom was broken and overturned,” the neighbor wrote in the police report. “We then walked the perimeter of our home and saw a large trellis structure in our vegetable garden was knocked down and plant materials were everywhere.”
On the morning of Aug. 26, the neighbor woke up to a family member urging them to call 911. Outside, video captured by a Ring security camera captured partygoers fleeing from the house and into their cars, calling out, “Unlock the door,” and “Take cover, they are shooting.” A woman’s voice, also recorded by Ring, can be heard pleading with a companion, saying, “We need help!” In response, a man says, “Let’s go! Come on, let’s go!”
Soon, a single squad car arrived, and the neighbor heard an officer call back to his partner, “We need paramedics.”
“We’re a little shell shocked and raw obviously,” said the neighbor, who has children. “I feel traumatized and terrorized by what’s happened.”
The neighbor added, “I don’t feel the owner of the home is taking aggressive enough action. She seems to be either afraid or saying her legal hands are tied.” The homeowner has told the neighbor that she is locked into a lease with a tenant who professionally runs short-term rentals.
Neither the homeowner nor the lessee returned the Courier’s requests for comment.
The recent violence has prompted the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council to establish a public safety liaison with the LAPD to “devise innovative solutions to combat crime,” said the member of the Neighborhood Council.
As of Aug. 27, the front door of 2219 San Ysidro Drive has two documents taped to it. The first, a “Notice of Violation,” declares that “a violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code 41.58.1, Loud or Unruly Gathering, has occurred at the residence address listed about.” The second document accuses the residence of noncompliance with the COVID-19 Safer L.A. Order, which limits gatherings in residential areas. The Initial Warning alerts the property owner and guests that a future violation may result in an “issuance of a directive to the Department of Water and Power to disconnect utility service to the above.”
The incident this week comes as Los Angeles and Beverly Hills grapple with a string of house parties during a historic pandemic. The issue garnered increased attention after another shooting in Beverly Crest on Aug. 3 that left four injured and one woman dead.
L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose district includes Beverly Crest, reacted to that incident in an Aug. 4 statement. “Illegal gatherings, homes being rented to be used as social venues, and other criminal activity during COVID-19 put our neighborhoods and residents in grave danger,” he wrote. “I am calling on all our public safety agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department to unequivocally enforce against all illegal house parties, due to their inherent danger in placing our hillsides, our neighborhoods, and our residents in peril.”
In response, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Aug. 5 that he had authorized the city to shut off utility services to properties found hosting large gatherings. The City made good on the threat on Aug. 19 when it shut down power to the rented Hollywood Hills home of TikTok stars Bryce Hall, Noah Beck, and Blake Gray.
As of press time, it is not clear if the house on San Ysidro Drive would meet the same fate.