A man who was stabbed to death at a downtown Los Angeles restaurant on New Year's Day is being remembered by his family as a patient man who brought people together with his music.
Family members identified the victim as Homer Garcia, who had just celebrated his 56th birthday last month.
Maribel Garcia, Homer’s sister, remembered her brother as being a talented musician.
“He just had a way of bringing us all together with this music. He was patient. So many of his friends wanted to learn to play guitar," she said. "He was quick, like ‘Yeah, just come on down! Come on down, now.’ He wrote his own music. He was funny, always had jokes. He was just a good soul,” Maribel said.
Garcia was dining at Margarita’s Place located at 103 E. Seventh St. at 8:40 a.m. Wednesday.
He was sitting at the counter, along with another man, believed to be the assailant, when an argument erupted between the two, Los Angeles Police Department’s Detective Ray Martinez said earlier.
Garcia and the other man were not dining together.
It is unknown what started the argument, according to Martinez. The unidentified man then pulled out a knife he already had in his possession and stabbed Garcia multiple times before fleeing the restaurant.
Many transients frequent this establishment, according to regulars. Alejandro, who only wanted to be identified by his first name, told KTLA that the restaurant never turns away a paying customer.
“All you see is just people sleeping on the sidewalks. Trash everywhere, rats running around," Alejandro said. "Where I park, there’s a bunch of tents right on the street. People hanging out, talking, sometimes they start arguing, but never anything crazy like stabbings,”
The man accused of stabbing Garcia is also a regular, officials said.
Detectives are asking for the public’s help with identifying the man caught on surveillance video leaving the restaurant after the incident.
He is described as being African American, 40 to 50 years old, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, has dark hair and has a heavy build. He was last seen waring a grey baseball cap, black jacket, red plaid shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD at 800-222-8477.