The Los Angeles Police Department plans to publicly discuss Monday the arrest of a 28-year-old man on suspicion of setting fire to a music studio in Studio City, killing two people and leaving two others gravely injured.
Eferem Zimbalist Demery of Los Angeles was arrested on suspicion of murder, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section. He’s being held in Los Angeles without bail, and officers in the LAPD’s Homicide-Robbery Division planned to discuss the case at a news conference at department headquarters at 3:30 p.m.
Another person suffered minor injuries in the fire at Top Notch Recordings, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The motive for the arson or what tied the suspect to the crime have not been revealed.
Firefighters were dispatched at 6:54 a.m. Saturday to 3779 N. Cahuenga Blvd. and had the greater alarm fire out within 28 minutes of their arrival, LAFD spokeswoman Amy Bastman said.
DeVaughn Cemar Carter, 28, of Los Angeles, and another person were pronounced dead at the scene, and paramedics rushed one gravely injured victim to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the other to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, she added. The third injured victim was evaluated, but not taken to a hospital.
“The cause of the fire is under active investigation by the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section,” Bastman said.
The building houses independent producers and studios, Shad Rabbani, the leasing agent for the building, told the Los Angeles Times. The facility has 13 studios, he added.
“They have a lot of clients and it’s 24/7, so I have no idea who is coming and who is going out,” Rabbani said.
Songwriter and artist L.A. Pryce said he had worked all night in one of the studios, fallen asleep and was awakened by a friend, the newspaper reported.
“My boy was like, ‘Yo wake up. Smell That?’ So I opened the door. It’s just blacked out smoke,” Pryce told the paper. “And then I see flames. I broke for the door and got out. I lost everything, hard drive, computer, everything’s gone.”