Downtown: Man, 49, shot to death


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Kevin Cohen, a 49-year-old black man, was shot to death on Sunday, April 12, 2009, at Stanford Avenue and East 7th Street in downtown L.A., police said.

Cohen was one of two men who were shot to death at a skid row hotel in what police said were the year’s first slayings in downtown Los Angeles. The other victim was Tommie Hayes, a 27-year-old black man. [Update: Coroner’s officials gave Hayes’ age as 27. Los Angeles police said he was 33.]


Cohen and Hayes were found about 5 a.m. with multiple gunshot wounds at the Lamp Lodge, police said. Neither of the men were staying at the hotel, said Los Angeles Police Department Det. Albert Marengo.

One of the men was found in the hotel’s first-floor lounge, and the other victim had walked out of the hotel after the shooting and collapsed in the parking lot, Marengo said. Witnesses said they saw a man fleeing the scene, the detective added.

Marengo said he hoped more witnesses would come forward with information about the shooting.

“I’m sure there were people inside and outside the hotel” at the time of the slayings, he said.

Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz said the killings were the first this year in the department’s Central Division. The last homicide on skid row was on June 16, 2008, according to a department news release.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz