Three dead from an overdose early Saturday morning in Venice

Three people died early Saturday morning in Venice from an overdose reportedly from fentanyl-fortified cocaine.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Mike Lopez said there was “no evidence of foul play.” When officers arrived at the scene on the Carroll Canal 200 block, they found three dead and a woman who was being rushed to hospital.

For the record:

9:29 p.m. September 5, 2021An earlier version of this story stated that the deceased allegedly overdosed on cocaine-infused fentanyl. The drug was fentanyl-fortified cocaine.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Fuquan Johnson, 43, of North Hollywood; Natalie Williamson, 33, from Los Angeles; and Enrico Colangeli, 48, of Medford, Mass.

Johnson was a stand-up comedian and writer on the television program “Comedy Parlor Live”.

TMZ reported that the deceased was using fentanyl-infused cocaine and that the woman who was hospitalized is comedian and actress Kate Quigley. She performs regularly in LA venues and has appeared on shows such as “The Office” and “Star Trek: Hidden Frontier”.

Quigley’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Actor and producer Luke Barnett told The Times that Johnson was “the nicest guy in the Valley, with a smile that lit up the room and made everyone feel instantly comfortable.” Johnson, he said, “could fry you so much that you cry, confused whether it comes from laughing or crying.

“He was always the first to push you to move on, create something new, introduce yourself,” said Barnett, who met Johnson 10 years ago while working at a cocktail bar in North Hollywood where the comedian was a regular . “The world just lost a great comedian and an even better guy.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that is often mixed with other narcotics such as cocaine or heroin to increase potency. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

The drug’s prevalence partly explains why overdose deaths in the United States hit record highs over the past year.

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