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Echo Park stabbings caught on tape may be hate crimes

Police are trying to identify three possible hate-crime suspects seen in a security video stabbing two gay-rights advocates in Echo Park after allegedly yelling homophobic slurs at them.

The victims were stabbed May 24 as they left a liquor store shortly before midnight, officials said. They were walking toward a bus stop at Echo Park Avenue and Montana Street when they were confronted by two men and one woman, KTLA reported.

On Wednesday evening, the LAPD released video from a security camera that shows three people walking past the victims. A neighbor said she heard the three hurling homophobic slurs.

One of the men broke away from the group and ran toward the two victims, the video shows. The man stabbed the first victim in the hip, fracturing his pelvis, KTLA reported. A few moments later, the victim's friend ran after the suspect. 

The video shows the suspect stopping and taking a fighting stance, lunging at the second victim, who was stabbed in the stomach.

Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. The victims, who are straight, are gay-rights advocates, police said.

"It's discrimination," witness Maria Hinojosa told KTLA. "I don't think it's right."

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-- Angel Jennings

 
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