Los Angeles County officials are cracking down on house parties after a woman was fatally shot on Tuesday at a large gathering at a mansion.
The Department of Public Health said in a statement that it “has issued a legally binding health officer order” that bans gatherings, including parties, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The order is to “protect the health and lives of county residents,” the department said. Violation of the order or failure to comply could result in a fine, jail time or both.
“We urge every resident in Los Angeles County to follow the health officer order and avoid organizing and attending gatherings that include people outside their own household,”
“The highest risk settings are large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and where face covers are not worn. The consequences of these large parties ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread, “the department continued.
The announcement follows a deadly shooting at a mansion party Tuesday around 1 am PT on Los Angeles’ Mulholland Drive. A 35-year-old woman was killed in the shooting and two men and two women were wounded and are expected to survive, police said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests had been made.
LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez said Tuesday that the shooting was being treated “as gang-related based on some evidence that they’ve located.”
Under California’s stay-at-home order, social gatherings are prohibited. Prior to the shooting in the Beverly Crest neighborhood, police had received calls about a party taking place near the shooting scene around 6:30 pm on Monday.
Police officials told NBC Los Angeles that officers helped with traffic and parking control, but did not enforce the county’s health order that prohibits large gatherings during the pandemic. An NBC Los Angeles helicopter captured video of a long line of cars going up to the home’s driveway, as well as a party bus dropping off partygoers.
Law enforcement agencies in California, including the LAPD, have generally opted for “education” over action against people not keeping social distance or those who refuse to wear masks in public.
Lt. Ramirez confirmed that officers were called to the home for a report of a public disturbance.
“It was a private party, it was indoors. How do you enforce the fact it’s a private party? And if the city attorney wants to, we can always file additional complaints,” he said.