A man who was fatally stabbed by another passenger while on board a Red Line train Monday morning has been identified as 34-year-old Jose Velazco-Alvarado.
Velazco-Alvarado was stabbed at about 9:18 a.m. by another rider and was taken to a hospital in grave condition when the train came to a stop at the Vermont/Santa Monica station, said Metro spokesman Marc Littman.
A security camera captured a brief verbal exchange between Velazco-Alvarado and the assailant just moments before that stabbing.
"There was a verbal exchange," said Det. Keith Schumaker of the Sheriff's Transit Bureau. "Then the suspect produces a weapon and lunged toward the victim with a stabbing motion."
The assailant was described as between 18 and 24 years old. There was no immediate word on Tuesday that authorities had identified a suspect or if anyone was in custody in connection with the alleged crime.
A woman told The Times a few hours after the incident in a telephone interview that she saw the stabbing unfold before her eyes and that it was "quite traumatic."
The woman, who asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation, said she was standing by the door when she saw the suspect singing loudly in the car.
He “walks down the aisle to the middle section and was standing there singing really loud rap music,” the woman said. “I particularly noticed because I was watching, thinking, that’s aggressive and loud.”
Another man, later identified as Velazco-Alvarado, walked toward the singing man, who then stabbed him in the neck, she said.
After that, the train stopped and the assailant ran out the door, she said. The victim was bleeding profusely, she said.
Craig Harvey of the Los Angeles County coroner's office, who released the identity of the victim, said Tuesday that an autopsy had yet to be performed.
On Tuesday, Metro officials released a statement saying they were "very saddened" to learn Velazco-Alvarado had succumbed to his injuries.
"This is a very tragic incident that occurred and Metro remains committed to working closely with the LASD to ensure that the individual involved in this incident is caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," according to the statement.
Metro officials also urged anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information about the stabbing to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Officials also said Monday's homicide was only the second on the subway since the line's service began in 1993.
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