A device that authorities say was made to look like an explosive was discovered Thursday night in Venice at the site of a future homeless shelter that has been a longstanding point of contention.
Los Angeles police responded to the site at Sunset Avenue and Main Street just before 6 p.m. The discovery prompted evacuation of nearby homes and streets for nearly five hours as the LAPD bomb squad inspected the item.
The LAPD could not confirm to The Times whether there was more than one device — described as being designed to look like an explosive. According to L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area, three devices were found.
Plans to open a homeless shelter at the site were approved in December after an L.A. County Superior Court judge rejected a legal challenge to the project from residents who believed the site was too close to homes and schools. The Venice Stakeholders Assn. had sued, arguing that the shelter would be a “magnet” for homeless encampments and would diminish public safety.
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This is an appalling incident perpetrated by a disturbed and cowardly person or persons. If it was meant to slow or halt progress on providing bridge housing, it failed. It is unacceptable & inhumane for people to be living and dying in sidewalk encampments in our neighborhoods.
— Mike Bonin-Official (@MikeBoninLA) January 3, 2020