Los Angeles police investigators sought help from the public Wednesday in locating and identifying a man suspected of stabbing a 58-year-old homeless man to death in downtown Los Angeles last month.
The deadly stabbing occurred on Nov. 6 on West 9th Street between Hope Street and Grand Avenue.
Police said Fernando David Perez was sitting on a bench about 8:30 p.m. when a tall, thin white man in a gray hooded sweatshirt began attacking him before walking away with a backpack.
Los Angeles Det. Jason Sharman said Perez was stabbed multiple times with what appeared to be a screwdriver or ice pick.
Perez was taken to a local hospital, where he died two days later. Coroner’s officials determined that Perez died from a stab wound to the back.
Police released video footage of the stabbing and the man they suspect killed Perez and offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
In the video, Perez appears to be sitting inside Grand Hope Park when the attacker approached and stabbed him. Perez falls to the ground and is stabbed two more times. At one point, the man rushes over to pick up a dark-colored backpack that dropped to the ground when Perez fell. The suspect then appears to stab Perez again before he flees.
It’s unclear what motivated the attack. About 10 minutes before the stabbing, video surveillance footage showed Perez picking up a dark backpack about a block from where he was attacked.
Investigators don’t know whether Perez owned the backpack, or if he picked up the suspect’s backpack and walked away with it, Sharman said.
In another video clip, the suspect is seen with a dark-haired young woman, standing in front of a vending machine and then heading down an escalator at the 505 Flower building, about five blocks from the stabbing site. In that video, the suspect has a dark-colored backpack on his shoulder.
Investigators believe the pair were in the area for some time prior to the stabbing, but they don’t believe they were homeless.
Investigators said the man is about 6-foot-3 and was wearing jogging-style pants and black shoes with white soles. Earlier in the afternoon, he was wearing a T-shirt with an unknown logo on the front and a purple or light-blue hat with a white logo. The woman accompanying him wore a long-sleeved shirt, black pants with white stripes, a dark-colored hat and white shoes, and was carrying a black backpack.
One witness saw a lime-green Chevy Spark with Florida license plates near the scene, Sharman said, but was not sure whether the slaying suspect left in the vehicle. Either way, investigators said they would like to speak to the driver of that vehicle.
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.