A Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee was clinging to life in critical condition Wednesday, a day after he was severely injured in a seemingly random attack in downtown Los Angeles the day before, authorities said.
Los Angeles Police Department officials said Wednesday afternoon that the victim had died, but later said he remained hospitalized on life support.
The assault took place about 4:35 p.m. in the 400 block of East Temple Street, near Alameda Street, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tony Im said.
The victim, a man of about 70 years old, fell to the ground and struck his head following the “felony battery,” the officer said.
“One of our employees was walking from our Temple Street yard toward the Metro train platform when he was assaulted by an unknown suspect for no apparent reason,” LADWP spokeswoman Deborah Hong said Wednesday.
“Our employee suffered severe injuries as a result of being knocked to the pavement and was taken to a nearby hospital,” she said.
Information that the victim’s family planned to remove him from life support at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday caused the LAPD to generate a homicide report, Im said. But family members changed their mind, and the victim was still alive on life support late Wednesday afternoon, Im said.
The victim’s identity was not released.
Police initially described the attacker only as a man less than half the victim’s age, estimated to be between 20 and 30 years old. No further description was available.
Family members rushed to the victim’s side at the hospital, Hong said.
“Managers and colleagues met with his family at the hospital and have been with them throughout the day today and they have expressed concern and support on behalf of our entire LADWP family,” she said. “We continue to support their needs as best we can.”
KTLA’s Matt Phillips contributed to this report.