Four suspects await extradition from Las Vegas to Los Angeles Wednesday in connection with the Sunday shooting deaths of two women and two men outside an unlicensed boarding home in Northridge.
The prime suspect has an extensive criminal record, according to reports. And City Councilman Mitch Englander said that despite the arrests, investigators have not closed the case. "It's still an open investigation and they're still gathering additional information,'' he told Patch.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that the arrests occurred without incident at the Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, but he declined to provide any specifics about what led detectives to the suspects or the motive for the killings.
"The prosecution of this case, the successful prosecution of this case is very important to the city of Los Angeles. Because of that, I'm not going to give any further details,” Beck told reporters in the LAPD’s downtown headquarters.
The arrests, credited to “some brilliant detective work” by the Robbery Homicide Division and cooperation from the FBI and Las Vegas and Henderson police departments, were made around 2 p.m. Monday.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported: "The task force on Sunday evening determined the suspects were driving a black Audi with no license plates and possibly staying at the Silverton. The Audi was located at the Silverton and investigators determined the suspects had checked into the hotel Sunday night."
That's where prime suspect Ka Pasasouk, 31, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Court records show Pasasouk was on probation at the time of the killings, according to the Los Angeles Times. Pasasouk was arrested in Northridge in September and charged with possession of methamphetamine, according to the Daily News.
His convictions date back to at least 2004. Pasasouk pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine in 2011, the Times reported. In 2010 he pleaded no contest to unlawful taking of a vehicle and was sentenced to state prison. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and assault likely to produce great bodily injury and sentenced to state prison, according to the Times. In 2004, he pleaded guilty and no contest in separate cases again involving unlawful taking of a vehicle.
Also arrested were Howard Alcantara, 30, of Glendale; and Donna Rabulan, 30, and Christina Neal, 31, both of Los Angeles. The three were all booked on suspicion of aiding a felon. In addition, Alcantara was booked on suspicion of robbery.
Neal was convicted in 2011 of theft and giving false information to a police officer, the Daily News reported.
All are being held in the Clark County jail.
Beck said the suspects were awaiting extradition from Nevada, and that process was expected to take "a couple of days."
According to the LAPD, the suspects had been visiting friends at the boarding home when the victims were confronted and fatally shot.
"This is a case that has gotten much public interest, not only locally but nationally," Beck said.
Police were sent to the two-story home in the 17400 block of Devonshire Street at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday and found the victims outside the house.
Neighbors reported hearing screaming and gunshots, police said.
The female victims appeared to be in their 20s, one man was in his 30s and the other was in his 40s, according to LAPD Officer Cleon Joseph. The coroner's office was continuing to withhold their names, citing a security hold placed on the case by the LAPD.
A woman named Rolina Calabia said one of the victims was her brother, Robert Calabia of Eagle Rock.
"I can't believe my brother is not here anymore,'' Rolina Calabia told KABC7. "He was always there for me. Why my brother?''
The station identified another victim as Amanda Ghossein, who has a one year-old daughter. Ghossein would have turned 25 Tuesday.
"People need to know that she's a mom, a loving daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece,'' Ghossein's aunt, Ilina Leff, told the station.
Police said there were eight or nine people inside the dwelling at the time of the shooting. No weapon was recovered, police said.
The owner of the boarding house told various media outlets that none of the victims lived at the home, nor did they have any connection with anyone who lived there. He also denied that he was running a boarding house.
Councilman Englander, who represents Northridge, said the property where the shootings occurred was an unlicensed boarding home but had not been a problem location for police.
However, a Department of Building and Safety-led inspection Tuesday revealed more than 50 violations, Englander told Patch late Tuesday afternoon. “They also red tagged one of the structures, the one built illegally over the car port,” Englander said, noting the danger for the physically disabled resident living there.
An unnamed source told the Times that three of the victims -- a man and two women -- were shot on a walkway on the side of the home. All were wearing hooded sweatshirts and all had at least one bullet wound to the head. Two of them were found face-down, while one of the women was found crumpled with her face in her hands, "almost like she was praying,'' the source told the Times, which reported the shooting may have been the result of some type of personal dispute.
Neither Englander nor LAPD representatives would confirm rumors of a vendetta.
The fourth victim, a man, appeared to have been shot while running toward the backyard of the home, the Times reported.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sought to put the murders in the context of shrinking violent crime rates throughout the city, crediting local law enforcement. "As you know, violent crime in the City of Los Angeles is at its lowest level in decades,'' he said. "It's at the lowest level we've seen since the 1950s, and it's because of the good work of the men and women in uniform that we can boast of those numbers. And sadly, tragically, not every day is free of violence.”
-- Saul Daniels contributed to this report.