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Weeks after fatal stabbing of homeless veteran at L.A. City College, authorities seek public’s help

A person walks between palm trees on the campus of Los Angeles City College
A 64-year-old homeless Army veteran was fatally stabbed Nov. 7 at Los Angeles City College, putting the campus on lockdown. The suspect has not been identified.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Nearly a month after a fatal stabbing put Los Angeles City College on lockdown and canceled in-person classes for an evening, authorities released pictures of the victim and suspect Wednesday with the hopes of closing the case.

Deputies were called shortly after 2 p.m. Nov. 7 to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon that happened in a city college parking structure at 640 N. Heliotrope Drive, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

A passerby heard “a disturbance” in the parking structure and called 911 after finding the victim, said Sgt. Vincent Choi of the department’s Homicide Bureau.

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Deputies found 64-year-old Delbert Collett stabbed multiple times, said Homicide Lt. Patricia Thomas. Firefighters arrived and started first aid, but Collett was pronounced dead at 2:20 p.m.

Investigators believe the attack occurred in a parking structure stairwell, Thomas said.

Collett was a homeless U.S. Army veteran who attended classes at the college in 2014, the lieutenant said.

“Investigators believe there are witnesses in the area who may have seen the suspect or know the suspect’s identity,” Thomas said. “Investigators are also seeking the public’s assistance with information on the victim’s family.”

Authorities recovered a weapon from the scene, but Thomas and another Homicide Bureau member declined to state what kind of weapon it was when asked during a news conference Wednesday morning.

The suspect was last seen walking southbound on the east sidewalk of Heliotrope Drive, Thomas said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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