Los Angeles: On April 6, 2002, at approximately 6:00 a.m., Devonshire Area patrol officers responded to a radio call regarding two victims who appeared to have been shot inside a parked vehicle located in the 8800 block of Wakefield Avenue in Panorama City. The driver was seated in the vehicle, while the passenger was lying on a grass parkway adjacent to the passenger side of the vehicle. Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced both victims, 24 and 26 year-old males, dead at the scene. The officers secured the scene and began canvassing the area. Preliminary information provided by neighbors indicated several shots were heard in the area at approximately 2:14 a.m. however no emergency personnel were summoned and the victims were not discovered until hours later.
Following an extensive investigation over the course of four months, information was developed regarding the suspected involvement of five suspects. These individuals were involved in an altercation with the victims at the California Broiler on the evening of the victims’ demise. The assigned detectives obtained search warrants for the residences of five suspects and warrants for their arrest on charges related to the case.
The warrants were served at the homes in the northeastern San Fernando Valley in the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 21, 2002. All five suspects were arrested and transported to Devonshire Station. Following the evaluation of evidence recovered during the searches, and several interviews, four of the five suspects were booked on their respective probable cause arrest warrants.
The investigation was presented to the District Attorney’s Office on Friday, August 23, 2002. Two counts of murder, with the special circumstance of multiple victims, were filed on the suspected shooter. Charges were not pursued on the remaining arrestees due to the lack of evidence to support their involvement. The primary suspect has been identified as Edward Blakeslee, a 34 year-old resident of Arleta. The unresolved dispute stemming from the Northridge restaurant altercation appears to have been the motive for the subsequent double slaying. Blakeslee remains in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department without bail. This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.