A man accused of killing another man in Costa Mesa Wednesday morning used a hammer hatchet combination tool to beat the victim repeatedly and at one point dragged him out of his vehicle, police said.
A suspect was arrested and transported to the hospital for minor injuries, according to a Costa Mesa Police Department news release.
Witnesses described a gruesome scene in the parking area of an apartment complex along Vanguard Way.
Police were called to Vanguard Way and Danbury Lane about 8:45 a.m. for a report of a man hitting another man with a tool that was originally described as a hammer. Police later said the weapon was a hammer hatchet combination tool.
Witnesses told police the victim was assaulted while seated in the driver's side of a vehicle.
Neighbor Geoff Houston said he saw the attacker hit the man in the face with a hammer.
Police said the attacker returned, pulled the victim out of the vehicle and continued to attack the man.
“Tragically, the attacker finished the job,” Houston said.
The first officer found the victim lying on his back, and another man standing nearby unarmed. When the officer spoke to the second man, he ran away.
The officer followed, using a Taser to subdue the man, while another officer arrived and handcuffed the man. He was arrested on suspicion of murder.
When the officer returned to the victim the victim had died, police said. The man suffered significant injuries to his face and arms, and it appeared that he tried to defend himself from the attack.
Neighbors and police identified the suspect as Ivan Dimov. Neighbors said he's a resident of the neighboring apartment complex who had experienced mental health problems. He had three children and a wife, neighbors said.
The weapon believed to be used in the homicide was found in the victim’s vehicle, police said. A silver Scion xB was towed from the scene.
The killing occurred just down the street from the Costa Mesa police station.
The relationship between the two men, both described as being in their 50s, is unknown, as is the motive.
Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly described how the victim was found at the scene. It has been updated.