Los Angeles Police at the crime scene in Venice. Courtesy of OnScene.TV
Los Angeles Police at the crime scene in Venice. Courtesy of OnScene.TV

The owner of a Venice hotel was in custody Monday in lieu of $5 million bail in connection with the shooting death of a man in Venice Beach.

The suspect was arrested at 8:10 a.m. Sunday and booked on suspicion of murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Venice residents revealed he is restaurant and property owner Sris Sinnathamby, 54, an immigrant from Sri Lanka.

The LAPD would not immediately confirm the suspect’s name, with a spokesman saying that the release of the man’s name or image by the department “could taint the investigation.”

The suspect was arrested “for his involvement in the murder,” the spokesman said.

Sinnathamby’s name was listed on the sheriff’s Inmate Information Center website, which reported that he was being held in lieu of $5 million bail.

The suspect — a Venice resident — was arrested without incident at 8:10 a.m. Sunday, and he was booked on suspicion of murder, according to LAPD Lt. M. Soliman.

The suspect’s case could be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Tuesday, said LAPD spokesman Drake Madison. No other suspects are in custody, he said.

Paramedics were sent at 2:10 a.m. Sunday to Rose Avenue and Ocean Front Walk, Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Witnesses said someone fired several shots within a group of homeless people at the oceanfront park, a frequent sleeping place for those without shelter.

Jascent-Jamal Lee Warren, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Another man — said to be in his 40s — was shot in a leg, was treated at a local hospital and returned to Venice around noon, witnesses told CBS2.

According to CBS2, the owner of the Cadillac Hotel, situating near the shooting scene, reportedly suffered head injuries at the hands of some homeless men after the shooting. Witnesses told the station the owner of the hotel was with a gunman at the time of the shooting. There was no immediate confirmation that it was Sinnathamby.

Witnesses also said the unidentified gunman was operating under orders from the hotel owner, CBS2 reported.

The victim was among a large crowd of people in front of the Cadillac Hotel when a fight broke out over who was camping where, according to witnesses who spoke off camera to television reporters.

Just after sunrise Sunday, Los Angeles police Sgt. Barry Montgomery told reporters “it appears now, at this time, that this incident was triggered by some sort of dispute among locals, which triggered this deadly attack.”

Police radio broadcasts said the shooter apparently left the scene in a black SUV, heading south on Speedway, the alley just inland from Ocean Front Walk.

Blood was steam-cleaned from the popular tourist attraction, which was reopened for public use before 8 a.m. Sunday.

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call LAPD’s West Bureau Homicide office at (213) 382-9470.

—City News Service

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