Los Angeles Police Department officials said Friday that an investigation has been launched after at least one fake explosive device was found Thursday at the site of a future homeless shelter in Venice.
LAPD responded to a call at about 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the corner of Sunset Avenue and Main Street about a possible explosive that was later determined to be fake by the department’s bomb squad, though it had the appearance of being able to detonate, police officers said.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin said, “Streets were closed and nearby homes were evacuated for several hours while the LAPD Bomb Squad analyzed the devices.”
Bonin, who represents Venice and the coastal region of the city, said there were three fake explosive devices found at the future site of A Bridge Home facility, though LAPD could only confirm one at this time.
The Bridge Home site is intended to help homeless people transition into permanent supportive housing, units for which the city is also building.
The homeless shelter was approved for the site last year, and a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge rejected a lawsuit from the Venice Stakeholders Association in December, which claimed the site was too close to homes and schools.
“This is an appalling incident perpetrated by a disturbed and cowardly person or persons,” Bonin stated on Twitter. “If it was meant to slow or halt progress on providing bridge housing, it failed. It is unacceptable and inhumane for people to be living and dying in sidewalk encampments in our neighborhoods. It is imperative that we get people off the streets. We will not be intimated, and we will not back down from providing solutions to our homelessness crisis.”
LAPD’s Major Crimes Division is investigating the incident, and anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-527-3247.