On Sunday, a 55-year-old known homeless man was found shot dead near Heritage Park in Santa Ana.
The Orange County Register cites police officials, who reported that a resident in the area who frequently provided the homeless food and clothes found the body.
According to police Cmdr. Jeff Smith, the homeless man, “who has been living in the area for an extended period of time,” was in his sleeping bag when he was murdered, adding, “The decedent had a gunshot wound in his upper body, and it appears he may have been asleep when shot.”
Smith said the police would not release the dead man’s name until his family had been notified, the Register reports.
Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the Los Angeles Times, “We have no clue. No clue. We’re hoping someone in the public knows something. We’re trying to look into his contacts and what went on in his life.”
Heritage Park is situated close to Heritage Elementary School, a K-6 public school with roughly 600 students, the Santa Ana News reported.
Southern California’s homeless population, which grows in the winter months as people seek shelter from harsher winters in other states, is particularly vulnerable to a cold snap this week.