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L.A. police arrest two suspects in connection with fatal stabbing of a homeless man

Working on an anonymous tip, Los Angeles police arrested a man and a woman Saturday night believed to be responsible for the fatal stabbing of a homeless man.

The stabbing occurred in November on West 9th Street between Hope Street and Grand Avenue downtown and was captured on surveillance video. Last week, authorities released video of the incident and offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

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Homicide detectives received an anonymous tip that the suspects were in the city of Anaheim and were able to locate and arrest Fred Scott Johnson, 23, on suspicion of murder and Savannah McKinley, 28, on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact.

Johnson and McKinley, both transients, according to police, are being held in lieu of $2-million bail. The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney for prosecution.

The victim, Fernando Perez, 58, was sitting on a bench about 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, when a tall, thin man in a gray hooded sweatshirt began attacking him with what appeared to be a screwdriver or ice pick, police said.

In the video, Perez falls to the ground and is stabbed two more times. At one point, the suspect rushes over to pick up a dark-colored backpack that dropped to the ground when Perez fell, the video shows. The suspect then appears to stab Perez again before he flees.

Perez was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for multiple stab wounds. He died two days later.

About 10 minutes before the stabbing, surveillance video showed Perez picking up a dark backpack about a block from where he was attacked. Authorities said it was unknown whether Perez owned the backpack, or if he picked up the suspect’s backpack and walked away with it.

Video from several businesses showed the suspect throughout the downtown area. He was accompanied by a woman, police said, before and after the slaying.

Anyone with information is asked to call Central Homicide detectives at (213) 996-1878. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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