Two Venice men have been arrested in connection with one of three firebombings in the Oakwood neighborhood over the past two months.
Police identified the arson suspects arrested Friday as Shauntee Snodgrass, 21, and Derrick Powell, 24. A third suspect is sought in the March 1 incident, in which the 5th Avenue home of a local anti-crime activist was hit with a Molotov cocktail. There were no injuries.
No one was hurt a week earlier when arsonists apparently lit flammable liquid in a crawl space beneath the nearby house of another activist, said Detective Peter Waack of the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division. A third house was hit with three Molotov cocktails March 16, hours after a white tenant shouted a racial slur at several black men, Waack said. One person was injured when attackers then opened fire on the Brooks Avenue house.
Waack said the first two attacks appeared to be gang retaliation for residents' cooperation with police in battling local drug dealing. He said more arrests are expected as the investigation proceeds.
Snodgrass was placed on three years' probation last year after pleading no contest to charges stemming from the beating of a bicyclist during the Los Angeles riots last spring.