85-year-old man brutally beaten in downtown attack dies

A 46-year-old homeless man will face a murder charge after an elderly man he allegedly beat died on Monday, police said.

The attack took place just before 3:30 p.m. on April 2 near 8th Street and Grand Avenue downtown. The suspect, LaFawn Parker, approached the older man, Dong Lee on a sidewalk and punched him several times, Los Angeles police Officer Liliana Preciado said. A security guard from a nearby Whole Foods grocery store who witnessed the beating, pepper sprayed Parker and held him down until police arrived.

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For the record

5:44 p.m: A previous version of this article said the attack took place near Olive and Grand. Those streets do not intersect.

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"I was very upset and my heart goes out to his friends," witness Kirk Gaw told KCBS-TV. Gaw was grocery shopping when he heard Lee crying for help.

Parker knocked Lee over and "started stomping on his head," Gaw said.

Lee, 85, died at the hospital, Preciado said.

Parker, who is said to be mentally ill, will be rebooked on a murder charge, according to LAPD Det. Doug Pierce. He is being held on more than $1 million bail.

Parker was originally scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, Los Angeles County jail records show. With the new charge, it was unclear if he would be arraigned as scheduled, Pierce said.

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