One woman has been shot dead and two others seriously wounded after gunfire broke out at a party in a multi-million-dollar Beverly Crest mansion at what cops claim was a gang cover-up and not an NFL star bash.
The unidentified woman, who is thought to be 35, was rushed to hospital after being struck by bullets when pandemonium broke out at the Mulholland Drive mega mansion in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Initial reports from partygoers said hundreds of revelers had gathered at the sprawling property to celebrate an unidentified football star making the NFL draft.
However, police sources told TMZ they believe the party was hosted by the notorious LA gang 8-Tray Gangster Crips and that there were no NFL players in attendance.
The mass shooting took place at around 1:15 a.m. at the huge short-term rental property in the affluent LA neighborhood of West Mulholland Drive.
LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez said at a news briefing Tuesday morning that cops were called to the scene to find two women and a man with gunshot wounds.
They were rushed to hospital with one patient in grave condition and two in a critical condition.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed one woman later died in hospital.
The two other victims were said to be in a stable condition by around 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The male victim is in his 30s and the second woman in her 40s, CBS reported.
A fourth victim – a woman – suffered a wrist injury while trying to flee the scene, while another man checked himself into a local hospital but was later released.
Ramirez said the incident is being treated as gang-related. No suspects have yet been identified or arrested, he added.
Insiders said the party had been held in honor of an unnamed NFL star and had drawn hundreds of revelers despite the COVID-19 ban on large gatherings.
Kennie D. Leggett, security manager for the event at the rented mansion, told CBS the lavish party was thrown to celebrate a football player being recently drafted to an NFL team.
He did not identify the player or which team he had been drafted to.
‘We have money. We are people. This COVID, I mean, is just pushing us out everywhere, and we have nothing, so the only thing we do have is Airbnbs to rent swimming pools for our kids, to do big things and things of that nature,’ said Leggett.
He said his team planned on staying until 3 a.m. when the party was scheduled to end.
Cops have denied the claims of ties to an NFL star, saying they believe this version of events was a cover story in anticipation of trouble potentially breaking out, reported TMZ.
Police sources told TMZ they believe it was a party for the 8-Tray Gangster Crips and that there was no evidence of any NFL players attending the bash.
The 8-Trays are a notorious street gang on the West Side of South LA and are thought to be one of the most violent gangs in LA County.
The NFL Draft took place around four months back in April and rookie players selected are already in training camps with their new teams.
Shocking footage posted online by partygoer Gabriel Pacheco captured the moment the revelry was interrupted by about 20 gunshots being fired into the crowds.
A second round of gunfire is then heard, sending panicked guests running to safety.
Pacheco claimed the shots were fired at people when ‘a lot of big Ballers were gambling lost a lot of money [were] p***ed.
‘Then a bunch of gangsters came in and robbed everybody and started shooting everybody.
‘A lot of people with money and guns and gangsters… got crazy I ran for my life it was crazy.’
Before the shooting broke out, Pacheco had been filming luxury cars in the driveway and chatting with women outside, before going inside the luxury home.
Chaotic footage of the aftermath showed one partygoer cradling an injured person in their arms on the ground outside the property.
A female and male partygoer were also seen scuffling as she shouted ‘that’s my brother’.
Emergency services were seen attending another victim on the ground, while cops in riot gear stood on guard.
The mansion – which had been crawling with partygoers dancing and enjoying themselves just moments earlier – was deserted and shrouded in darkness as a police helicopter circled overhead.
Hours before the deadly shooting, the LAPD had been called to the rented property after receiving numerous noise complaints about the party.
Officers said they were on the scene for traffic and noise control from 6.30 p.m. and estimated around 200 people were at the party.
However, authorities said the party was not breaking any rules to officers left soon after.
‘When the officers arrived, they did notice large amounts of people on the roadway and vehicles kind of blocking, double parked and stuff, stacked on the roadway,’ Ramirez said.
‘At that point, the officers met with the responsible party and security officers at that location. They were able to get their compliance, to help get the people back into the private party, and at the same time, did some enforcement.’
This comes despite ‘parties of any size’ being banned by LA County in efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Aerial footage of the party before the violence broke out shows hundreds of partygoers dancing and frolicking in the pool, with very few observing social distancing or wearing face masks.
One reveler appeared to ‘make it rain’ – throwing dollar bills into the air, which showered into the pool below.
The company that manages the rental property told CBS it had not been made aware of plans for any party and that it was in violation of the rental terms.