Transient, 19, Is Found Fatally Shot in Popular Park in Highland Park

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A 19-year-old man was found dead and suffering from a gunshot wound in a tent in Highland Park on Jan. 17, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

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Police asked for the public’s help Monday in finding the person who fatally shot a 19-year-old transient whose body was discovered the previous afternoon in Highland Park’s Sycamore Grove Park.

Officers responded to reports around 12:12 p.m. Sunday of a suspicious death in the 4700 block of North Figueroa Street, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release.

A man — later identified by police as Kaelyn Michael Tarin, 19 — was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head in Sycamore Grove Park, Lt. Ryan Schatz said.

The park is a popular location in the neighborhood, and community members can often be seen gathering and celebrating birthdays during the daylight hours.

Tarin’s body was discovered inside a tent, and Los Angeles Fire Department personnel pronounced him dead at the scene, according to the news release.

The man’s older brother, Aaron Tarin, described him as a “regular kid” who was not affiliated with any gangs and had a “messed up” living situation for years.

Police said the motive behind the shooting was not known.

The incident occurred six months after another man believed to be a transient was found bludgeoned to death on a bridge over the 110 Freeway that connects Sycamore Canyon Park and Ernest E. Debs Regional Park.

Anyone with information about Tarin’s death were asked to call Northeast Division Homicide Detective Lunchuk and Officer Watterson at 323-561-3421.

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