Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies Tuesday arrested an Oak Park teen-ager and two other youths on suspicion of stabbing to death the 16-year-old son of a Los Angeles Police Department detective and wounding another teen-age boy, authorities said.
Brandon Hein, 18, and a 15-year-old whose name was withheld because of his age, were arrested at Hein's home on East Sunnycrest Drive in Oak Park, said Detective Bill Neumann of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau.
A third youth, 17, later surrendered at the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station in Los Angeles County accompanied by a lawyer and family members, authorities said. The two juveniles would be sent to the juvenile detention facility in Sylmar, authorities said, and the 18-year-old was in custody at the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station. All three were booked on suspicion of murder.
Deputies said they are looking for Jason (Skip) Hollans, 18, of Agoura Hills, who was seen Monday night leaving the death scene--a makeshift clubhouse where surviving victim Mike McLoren, 16, lived--in a maroon pickup truck. Hollans was described as white, 5-foot-9 and about 130 pounds.
Details of the fight in which Mike was apparently wounded and his friend was killed remained sketchy Tuesday as authorities and residents of the quiet neighborhood near Agoura High School tried to piece together what happened.
Friends said Mike, a student at Agoura High, lived in the room they called "the fort" behind the house shared by his grandparents, mother and aunt. A beast resembling a giant wart hog snarls from the side of the plywood shed where neighbors said police occasionally came to break up loud parties.
Just before 7:30 p.m. Monday, deputies arrived at the clubhouse in response to an emergency call and found an injured Mike and 16-year-old James Farris III collapsed in the kitchen of the main house, Neumann said.
James, a neighbor whose father works in the LAPD's Detective Headquarters Division, was pronounced dead at Westlake Medical Center of multiple stab wounds. Mike was listed in fair condition Tuesday at UCLA Medical Center with a lacerated liver and two minor slash wounds in his left upper body, a hospital spokesman said.
Neumann said the motive behind the attack is unclear. What is known, he said, is that the two teen-agers were in the clubhouse when four others jumped the fence, stormed the fort and attacked them. The two victims were unarmed, Neumann said.
People at Hein's East Sunnycrest Drive house did not open the door Tuesday evening, saying they were not interested in commenting on the incident.
Friends of the boys said Mike had told them that a group of teen-agers had been breaking into the clubhouse and taking his belongings. On Monday, said 17-year-old Scott DeGeorge, Mike reclaimed his things and the other teen-agers, in turn, came looking for him.
"We've got some work to do before we can put this together and find out what really happened," Neumann said.
Some neighbors along Foothill Drive placed flowers in the fence around the clubhouse, which was blocked off by yellow police tape. Others recounted their favorite memories of a boy they called Jimmy.
Michelle Watts, an Agoura High sophomore, recalled a second-grade picture of a smiling Jimmy, wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed, "Proud to be an American."
"He was a nice innocent kid and no one deserves that," Michelle said. "I could never see the kid in that photo growing up and having this happen."
Added her mother, Diane: "He was a well-mannered kid who would take his shirt off his back for anyone." Travis Farris, one of James' two older brothers, said it was too difficult to explain his feelings, adding simply, "He's my best friend and my brother and I'll miss him."
Some neighbors spoke about their fears.
Sheila Rosenthal said she moved to Agoura Hills from Westwood two years ago because her son was twice attacked by gangs. In fact, she added, the area is considered so safe that James' family is among several local police families, many of whom were drawn by its low crime.
"You just can't run away anymore; there's no place to run," Rosenthal said.
"It's a devastating thing to see this happening here."
At Agoura High School, Principal James Christianson made an announcement to students about the incident and more than 30 students took advantage of emergency crisis counseling.
"We've lost a student today and we don't deal well in terms of losing a student," said Donald Zimring, assistant superintendent of the Las Virgenes School District. "It's a very hard time for us. It's probably the hardest thing we do as teachers and administrators."
Last week, Christianson said, teachers, administrators and community leaders put together a panel to talk about off-campus student safety issues. About 60 parents responded to the invitations, which were mailed to 2,400 homes, Christianson said.
"We were trying to tell them [about] exactly these types of things," Christianson said. "These are the types of things that are going on in your homes and communities.
"You've got to know where your kids are and what's happening."
Times staff writer Julie Tamaki and correspondent Ira E. Stoll contributed to this story.