A $50,000 reward is being offered for tips leading to the capture and arrest of a man seen brutally stabbing a homeless man to death in downtown Los Angeles in video released by the L.A. Police Department Wednesday.
On Nov. 6, the brutal killing on Ninth Street between Hope Street and Grand Avenue was captured on graphic surveillance video that shows a homeless man being pummeled by a man wearing a light gray "Thrasher" sweatshirt, according to LAPD. Paramedics responded to the area around 8:30 p.m. and transported the victim, 58-year-old Fernando Perez, to California Hospital Medical Center.
He died from his wounds two days later.
Through the release of three video clips showing the suspect — including one of the actual attack — police are reaching out for the public's help identifying the killer. Officials are also asking for help identifying a unique vehicle seen near the suspect around the time of the killing: a lime green Chevy Spark believed to be a 2013-16 model with Florida license plates.
However, LAPD detectives said it's still unclear if the suspect left in that vehicle.
The reward is being offered with assistance from the office of L.A. City Councilman José Huizar, police said.
Perez was on a bench when a man walked up and suddenly lunged at him, swinging his arm over the homeless man and stabbing him repeatedly until he fell off the bench, as seen in video released by police.
The suspect then grabbed a backpack sitting next to the bench and threw one last jab at Perez before running off, video shows. It's not clear if the backpack was owned by Perez – or if Perez had previously taken it from his attacker, LAPD Capt. Marc Reina said at a news conference Wednesday.
"We're still investigating robbery as a potential motive," said Jason Sharman, an LAPD homicide detective on the case.
"There was no particular exchange or interaction between the two," Sharman said.
The killer, described by police as a white male, was seen with a female companion in the area of the killing about 30 to 45 minutes prior to the stabbing, which occurred about 8:15 p.m., Sharman said. Two other videos released by police capture his movements in nearby areas before and after the crime.
"We didn’t find witnesses to this, but the majority of our evidence is going to be captured on video," Sharman said.
One of the videos shows the suspect walking up to a kiosk inside a building somewhere nearby, wearing a dark blue baseball cap and a gray sweatshirt with a "Thrasher" logo written across the front.
He is described by LAPD as being between 25 and 35 years old. He has a thin build, brown hair and stands about 6 feet 3 inches tall and was a carrying a backpack with what appears to be a luggage tag, police said.
In a third video clip, he is seen wearing a white shirt with a dark-colored logo while carrying what appears to be the same sweater. His pants are dark-colored and he's wearing black tennis shoes with white soles as he walks up to a flight of escalators at the 505 Flower shopping center, a few blocks away from the crime scene.
The female companion who was seen with him is described by LAPD as a white woman with a small-to-medium build, wearing black pants with white stripes, white shoes and a dark-colored hat. She had light brown hair that was worn in a ponytail at the time.
A witness who was unaware of the homicide saw the killer acting erratically near the distinctive Chevy Spark, Sharman said. He was seen agitated, walking back and forth from an underground parking garage at the nearby Ralphs grocery store.
The killer and the female companion are not believed to be homeless, the detective said.
Anyone with information can call detectives at 213-996-1878. During nonbusiness hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 213-486-6606 while anonymous tips can be submitted by reaching L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Correction: An earlier version of this article gave the incorrect first name for the victim. The story has been updated.