Three people found dead inside a vehicle involved in a Palm Springs traffic crash “may have been homicide victims,” police said Tuesday, and investigators were working to determine if their deaths are related to the fatal shooting of another person found a short time later.
According to Palm Springs police, a person of interest in the investigation is in custody on unrelated charges.
Officers responded at 11:40 p.m. Sunday to a report of a traffic crash on Sunny Dunes and El Placer roads and found three people — a female driver and two male passengers — dead inside a vehicle, police said.
“Further investigation into the collision has revealed the occupants inside the vehicle may have been homicide victims,” according to police, who did not provide details of how the three people died.
About 35 minutes later, police received a report of a “male lying in the road” on Canon Drive south of Theresa Drive. The victim had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His name has not been released, but police said they believe he was a Palm Springs resident.
“At this point, we are actively investigating the two incidents in an attempt to determine if they are related based upon their timing and proximity,” police said.
The names of the three people found dead in the vehicle also have not been identified, pending notification of relatives.
Police did not release any details about the person of interest in custody, although investigators are expected to discuss the case at an afternoon news conference.
In the meantime, police asked any residents in the area of Canon Drive and Sunny Dunes Road who may have security cameras to review footage from 11:20 p.m. Sunday through 1 a.m. Monday, and contact police if they spot anything unusual on the footage.
Anyone with information was asked to call police at (760) 323-8115. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-7867.
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