A man who is believed to be homeless fatally stabbed a fellow patron at a Mexican restaurant at the edge of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles on New Year's Day morning, police said.
Some kind of argument erupted between the two — who had not been eating together — and one man used a knife to attack the other, according to homicide Detective Ray Martinez with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The victim, described only as a Hispanic man in his 40s, died at a hospital. The unidentified killer got away on foot.
Police were called to the restaurant at 103 E. Seventh St. at 8:40 a.m., Martinez said. Crime scene tape surrounded the restaurant, Margarita's Place, and investigators were still working there later in the morning.
The victim and killer had both been eating some distance apart at a counter at the establishment when the argument broke out for unclear reasons, Martinez said. It's not known if the two knew each other.
The killer used a knife that was in his possession, not one from the restaurant, Martinez said.
The attacker is a regular at Margarita's Place, employees told police. Police aren't aware of any previous aggressive incidents involving him, Martinez said.
No one at the restaurant had seen the victim before, the detective said. It's not clear if the victim lives in the area.
Police are hoping to release an image of the killer from surveillance video recorded at the restaurant.