Los Angeles police arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of fatally stabbing his stepfather during a Christmas morning dispute inside the family's Watts apartment.
Rudy Flores began arguing with his mother shortly before 11 a.m. when she was unable to help him locate a baseball bat, according to initial accounts provided by police. His stepfather, 54-year-old auto mechanic Nery Puluc Ambrosio, woke up and stepped into the physical fray.
Flores pushed Ambrosio to the ground and stabbed him at least once in the back with a nearby tool that police had described as a reciprocating saw blade, but turned out to be a large knife, said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Wes Lin.
Ambrosio was pronounced dead at a Lynwood hospital. An autopsy is pending, Los Angeles County coroner's office spokesman Ed Winter said. The mother did not sustain serious injuries.
Flores was caught shirtless and with blood on his torso a few blocks from the apartment on the 1900 block of East 105th Street, police said.
Family members told police that Flores has a mental illness, but it's unclear whether he's been clinically diagnosed, Lin said.
Flores is being held on a first-degree murder charge and $1 million, according to police records. Flores, who had been living out of state and was visiting, is affiliated with the 5th and Hill gang, said LAPD Lt. Jeff Nolte.
The incident is the 16th homicide in Watts in 2013 and the first one in about two years to not involve a gunshot, according to the Times' Homicide Report database. During the last seven years, the neighborhood has had an annual average of 16 homicides.