A homeless man and his 17-year-old girlfriend have been arrested and charged with fatally stabbing a man earlier this week near a 101 Freeway onramp in Hollywood.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office filed a murder charge Thursday against Alex Conn Vasquez, alleging he carried out the killing of Jimmy Bradford, 47, during a robbery.
Officials said the slaying occurred about 8 a.m. Monday in an area frequented by commuters and tourists. It marked the third homicide this year in the neighborhood, a noticeable decrease from prior years, according to LAPD Det. John Radtke.
Investigators believe that Vasquez, 23, and his girlfriend attempted to rob Bradford, which led to a verbal and physical fight, Radtke said.
Like Vasquez, Bradford was homeless and likely panhandling in the area, near Hollywood Boulevard and the freeway onramp.
Prosecutors allege that Vasquez stabbed Bradford several times in the back before fleeing east on Hollywood Boulevard with his girlfriend.
Witnesses alerted police, officials said, and paramedics rushed Bradford to the hospital, where he died.
Radtke said officers delved into the investigation, recovering surveillance video and witness accounts. Officers were familiar with Vasquez, who has had prior run-ins with the law, he said.
A key break in the case came when Vasquez's girlfriend turned herself into authorities and "made admissions" in connection with the killing, Radtke said.
Her identity was not released because she is a minor. She was charged with murder in juvenile court, and a judge will later decide if she will be prosecuted as an adult, police said.
LAPD officers, aided by an FBI team, arrested Vasquez on Tuesday in the 4600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, authorities said. He is being held without bail in L.A. County Jail.
Once in custody, Vasquez spoke with detectives and "pointed the finger" at his girlfriend, with whom he also has a child, Radtke said. The detective said he did not know the child's current whereabouts.
It's unclear if an attorney was representing Vasquez, who has been in and out of custody over the last four years.
In 2013, he pleaded guilty in two grand theft cases, and in 2014, he was sentenced to two years in state prison on a felony robbery conviction, according to court records. He also pleaded guilty to petty theft in 2013.
Before this week, Hollywood had seen two homicides this year, including an officer-involved killing. On Jan. 31, police fatally shot Solomon Picart, 37, inside a Sunset Boulevard restaurant after he stabbed three people in a rampage.
Bryan Delatorre was fatally shot at his Hollywood apartment building on May 19.