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A 38-year-old homeless man was found dead in a Los Angeles encampment Friday near the beach where the number of tents erected by homeless people has significantly expanded in recent months, worrying residents and business owners who have complained of quality of life issues.
The victim was found suffering from blunt force trauma to the head inside a tent on the sand off Ocean Front Walk and Dudley Avenue, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Officers were called to the location on the famous boardwalk in Venice Beach just before 3:30 p.m.
Relatives of the man identified him to KCBS-TV as 49-year-old Michael Hall. They said he moved to the encampment a few weeks ago and that his death was the result of a love triangle. Authorities have arrested Michael McClain, 38, in connection to the killing, authorities said Sunday.
He was found at another homeless encampment, the LAPD said.
Investigators said there was possibly a fight and someone was heard yelling in the early morning hours before Hall was discovered.
“Later in the day they noticed that the tent was collapsed,” police said.
A 911 caller said they checked the tent and found Hall injured, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. The LAPD said he had an ongoing dispute with another homeless person, who was not identified.
The death comes amid backlash from Venice residents and business owners who have complained about the expansion of the homeless encampment along the beach and crimes related to the homeless people living there.
Authorities said there have been shootings, fights, harassment, arson and other incidents related to the encampments. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva dispatched department homeless outreach deputies to the area – which is under LAPD jurisdiction. Last week, he asked county leaders to declare a state of emergency to address the problem.
On Monday, efforts to house up to 200 homeless people in Venice began. Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin said 19 people were moved indoors.
“This is what addressing our crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles looks like, getting one unhoused resident at a time back on their feet and into housing,” he said in a letter to constituents.
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