By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore appealed to residents this weekend to “reject this trend” of violence that he says appears to be increasing in the city.

Half a dozen people were shot in the L.A. area over the span of a few days, prompting Moore to call the series of crimes “tragically violent.”

“Last night was a tragically violent night in Los Angeles. Together, we must confront this challenge and vehemently reject this trend — we will not let those that wish to tear at the fabric of our city succeed,” he said.

Among this weekend’s victims was a homeless man in North Hollywood who was shot and killed after asking someone for spare change, the LAPD said.

The incident, which developed into a verbal altercation, happened near a restaurant in the 11300 block of Magnolia Boulevard.

According to investigators, the victim tried to defuse the situation by saying, “God bless you,” but the other man pulled out a gun and fired five shots.

A local pizza shop employee was working nearby during the shooting and called 911 for help.

“What alerted us was the sound of the gunfire. It was a loud popping sound,” said Stephen Juhl of NoHo Pizza and Grill. “It was dark out so I didn’t get to see any description of the person.”

Detectives say the gunman ran away from the scene before anyone could identify him or get a detailed description.

This was one of six shootings across Los Angeles Saturday night into Sunday morning.

“To take somebody’s life just because they’re asking for help is a senseless act,” said homeless advocate Reyrey Williams.

Detectives say they have been fielding approximately two murder calls each week in the San Fernando Valley up from about 50 murders annually in years past.

On Friday, the department said there was an uptick in violent crimes citywide, which had 39 more homicides and 101 more shootings compared to last year.

No suspect has been taken into custody yet in connection to the shooting, and police have not yet disclosed the victim’s name.

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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