Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

LAPD tells homeless to seek shelter after 3 'death warrant' stabbings

The Los Angeles Police Department took the unusual step Thursday of urging homeless people to get off the street and seek shelter at night after three transients were stabbed in their sleep by an assailant who left behind rambling “death warrants.”

Detectives said the attacks all occurred in July and involved middle-aged homeless people who stabbed in the back. The attacker left signed pieces paper that he labeled as “death warrants” at the scene of each crime.

Person Of Interest - Homeless StabbingsPolice release a photo of a man who they described as a “person of interest.”  David Ben Keyes, who has been missing for weeks from the Santa Barbara area, is being sought by detectives with the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division and Santa Monica Police Department for questioning. Officials said Keyes’ name appears on all three notes.

LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes publicly urged homeless people to find nighttime shelter or at the very least stay in groups until a suspect is caught.

“With numbers, there is safety,” Hayes said at a news conference.

The first incident was reported July 4 when a 56-year-old homeless man was found bleeding with a large "hunting-type" knife protruding from his back near the intersection of 3rd and Main streets in Los Angeles, according to sources. The man crawled 100 yards looking for help while the weapon was lodged between his shoulder blades.

On Tuesday, another homeless man was stabbed in a similar manner as he slept on a Santa Monica bus bench near the Third Street Promenade. Santa Monica police Sgt. Richard Lewis confirmed that a similar note was found by detectives but did not give details.

On Thursday, a 54-year-old homeless woman was stabbed in the back as she slept near the intersection of La Brea and De Longpre avenues, blocks away from Hollywood High School. Police recovered a black kitchen knife and another "warrant," also signed by the suspect.


$30,000 worth of Ralph steaks recovered in foiled heist

Two congressmen continue fight to save Mt. Soledad cross

Gay service personnel can wear uniforms in parade, Pentagon rules

-- Andrew Blankstein

Follow Andrew Blankstein on Twitter and Google+.

Photo: David Ben Keyes, described by police as a "person of interest" in the "death warrant" case. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: