The stabbing attacks on a 17-year-old honors student and a 33-year-old father in El Sereno on Friday occurred “with no provocation,” Los Angeles Police Department officials said on Thursday.
In a press conference, officials indicated that David Anthony Zapata, 32, was taken into custody in Alhambra on Wednesday in connection with the death of Woodrow Wilson High School student Xavier Daniel Chavarin and for allegedly stabbing Daniel Villalobos a few hours later.
The El Sereno attack, which occurred at about 4 p.m. Friday in the 4500 block of Valley Boulevard, left Chavarin seeking help at a local King Torta shop before he collapsed on the floor, witnesses said.
The adult man was stabbed “about a mile and a half away,” said Detective Ryan Rabbett.
“Both incidents were completely unprovoked. these citizens were attacked for no apparent reason,” Rabbett said.
Zapata has been arrested seven times on misdemeanor charges, but he has no felony arrests or convictions.
Some have speculated that a mental illness may have led to the stabbings, but Rabbett refuted that notion.
“His mental health is no reason for what he did, and I’ll simply leave it at that,” said Rabbett.
Rabbett, however, did confirm that police have found no link between Zapata and the victims and that there was no apparent robbery involved.
Officials also disclosed that a second person may have been involved, as Zapata was driven away from the scene by someone else, Rabbett said, adding that police are “actively pursuing” that lead.