Victim killed early Sunday morning is the fourth homeless man to die violently in Venice since April

By Gary Walker and Joe Piasecki

A memorial to shooting victim Jascent-Jamal Lee Warren, known to friends on the boardwalk as Shakespeare, was still growing on Tuesday at Dudley Avenue and Ocean Front Walk Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

A memorial to shooting victim Jascent-Jamal Lee Warren, known to friends on the boardwalk as Shakespeare, was still growing on Tuesday at Dudley Avenue and Ocean Front Walk
Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

County prosecutors have charged the owner of the Cadillac Hotel with murder following a deadly late-night shooting on the Venice boardwalk that killed one homeless man and injured another.

Sris Sinnathamby, 54, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday during his arraignment at the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Airport Branch in Westchester. Bail was set at $1 million and he returns to court Oct. 14, L.A. County District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

The shooting occurred at about 2 a.m. Sunday outside the Cadillac Hotel at the corner of Dudley Avenue and Ocean Front Walk, LAPD officer Drake Madison said.

Officers responding to the shooting found 26 year-old Jascent-Jamal Lee Warren dead at the scene.

A second shooting victim in his 40s was wounded in the leg and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

LAPD officers arrested Sinnathamby at about 8 a.m. Sunday, according to jail records.

A source close to the investigation who did not wish to be identified said witnesses have told police that Sinnathamby did not fire the shots but was with the gunman, a Latino male who fled the scene and is still at large. The source said witnesses also told police that directly prior to the shooting a group of homeless people had gathered on the boardwalk near the hotel and Sinnathamby was ordering them not to sleep there.

A woman who said she witnessed the shooting told the Los Angeles Times that she saw and heard Sinnathamby order the unidentified gunman to shoot at the homeless men.

“It appears that some type of argument ensued with some of the locals on the boardwalk, and that’s when shots were fired,” LAPD officer Mike Lopez said.

L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Venice, condemned Warren’s killing, calling it “an outrageous and unacceptable” act of violence and “an unprovoked attack that is both horrifying and disturbing.”

Warren is the fourth homeless man to die violently in Venice in just the past five months.

A homeless man has been charged with killing another homeless man during an April 19 assault near the intersection of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and California Avenue, according to police.

Brendon Glenn, 29, was shot to death by police on May 5 during an altercation on Windward Avenue near the beach. The shooting is still under investigation by police.

Jason Davis, a 41-year-old homeless man, was shot and killed by police on July 13 as he wielded a knife outside Groundwork Coffee Co. on Rose Avenue.

It’s a pattern that alarms homeless advocate Steve Clare, executive director of the Venice Community Housing Corp.

Despite city affordable housing creation policies appearing to move forward after years of stagnation, Clare said City Hall must do more to ensure that homeless people and those who encounter homeless people remain safe in the meantime.

“I think the city has to provide safe, legal places for people to sleep outside. In my view that means designating areas in public parks, including Venice Beach, where homeless people can sleep. There could be LAPD patrols to make sure everyone is safe and no one is engaging in illegal activity … designated safe spaces, rather than [homeless] people distributing themselves all over the place,” Clare said.

“Unhoused people need protection, just like everybody else,” he said.

Police are asking that anyone with information about last weekend’s shooting call LAPD’s West Homicide Bureau at (213) 382-9470.