Man Recounts Catching Alleged OC Homeless Serial Killer

HomicideHeroismHouse BuildingJohn BarryCVS Caremark Corporation

ANAHEIM (KTLA) -- He helped police catch a suspected serial killer targeting the homeless in Orange County, but he doesn't consider himself a hero.

"There was no look. It was just like you were looking into a body without a soul."

That's how the young man who helped chase down 23-year old Itzcoatl Ocampo describes the suspected serial killer.

KTLA spoke exclusively with the man, who has chosen to remain anonymous.

But he did share what he saw and what he did on Friday night, when 64-year-old transient John Barry was stabbed to death outside a Carl's Jr.

"I was in CVS, I was next in line when a gentleman came in and said, 'The serial killer is out there, I need help,'" he said.

That's when he dropped everything and ran outside.

"He stabbed him at least 7 times, that I saw, but he was stabbing him before I even got there," he said.

"I kept yelling, 'Hey stop! Hey stop!' He wouldn't stop."

That's when Ocampo looked up. The man says Ocampo looked him in the face and then took off running.

"I just stayed with him, I don't know why," the man says of his heroic actions.

He then called 911, alerting dispatchers as he followed Ocampo through a mobile home park.

"I chased him through the mobile home park and through a gate where he disappeared behind a brick wall. I was scared to go any further because I didn't know if he was waiting there."

By that point, he says, he heard sirens approaching and saw police arrive.

"I think we all should be thankful to the citizens last night who chased this suspect," Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said of the young man’s heroism.

"I'm just glad that they caught him, that's all that matters," the man said. "If I saved one, two, three lives, that makes it worth it."

While he chased the suspect and ultimately helped lead police to his arrest, he wishes he could have done a lot more.

"Feeling like a hero, I didn't save the present life, so it's hard for me to feel like a hero when I didn't save him," he said, referring to Barry's death.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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HomicideHeroismHouse BuildingJohn BarryCVS Caremark Corporation