A home invasion suspect reportedly shouted “Free Palestine!” and threatened to kill a Jewish family in Studio City Wednesday morning.
According to various local reports, a man broke into a home on the 3000 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard sometime around 5 a.m. The suspect, who was armed with a kitchen knife, allegedly threatened to kill the family “because you are Jewish… Israel kill people,” per KTLA. The homeowner is reportedly from Israel. All the doors to the house are also reportedly adorned with mezuzot.
The family, which according to KTLA consisted of two adults (one of whom is nine months pregnant) and four children, hid in a safe room until the father came out and pushed the man into the backyard, where the suspect was subsequently arrested.
The suspect can be seen in video footage shouting, “Free Palestine” repeatedly and “brown lives matter” as he was being taken into a police vehicle. The suspect is believed to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident and was wearing only his underwear. The suspect’s identity has yet to be publicly revealed.
The victims, though shaken up, were unharmed.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“The vile act of hate that took place this morning has no place in our City,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (D) said in a statement. “In the wake of the terror and violence inflicted over the previous weeks, this is one of the worst fears of Jewish families across our country – hatred spilling across the threshold, destroying the sense of safety and sanctuary in a home. We remain steadfast in support of the Jewish people – the people of Los Angeles will not cower to hate. We will respond to it. The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to conduct increased patrols in communities throughout our City and I call on officials to take action to ensure the person responsible for this heinous act is held fully accountable.”
UPDATE 1: Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams said in a statement to the Journal, “ADL Los Angeles is actively speaking with our law enforcement partners who are investigating this incident as a hate crime. The Jewish community in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California is understandably anxious during this time of growing antisemitic violence, and all of us, including law enforcement, need to continue to work to ensure that Jewish community members here in Los Angeles are safe and secure.”
UPDATE 2: The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has identified the suspect as being Daniel Garcia. In a Wednesday evening press release, the LAPD accused Garcia of shouting, “Free Palestine” and “Kill Jews, Kill Jews” during the home invasion. The LAPD suggested that Garcia might be afflicted with mental illness and “appeared motivated by the victims’ religious beliefs.” “In addition, it appeared Garcia may have [had] prior contacts with the victims,” the LAPD press release added.
Garcia faces charges of stalking, criminal threats and a hate crime enhancement. His bail is set at $225,000.
This is a developing story.