A suspect who allegedly stabbed a man to death on a Red Line subway train in East Hollywood on Monday remains at large and is being sought by authorities.
The stabbing occurred at approximately 9:18 a.m. on a train that was pulling into the Red Line’s Vermont/Santa Monica station.
Authorities said the suspect, who is only described as being between 18 and 24 years old, was riding the subway and walking from car to car while loudly singing. As he approached the victim, an argument erupted and the suspect allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim. The suspect then exited the train at the Santa Monica/Vermont station and fled in an unknown direction. Portions of the attack were caught on surveillance camera, according to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) spokesman Marc Littman.
“It’s very tragic,” Littman said. “Apparently he was walking through the cars, which is illegal, and singing rap music loudly. Some brief verbal exchange occurred between the victim and this guy, and he whipped out a knife and stabbed him in the throat.”
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim as Jose Velazco-Alvarado, 34. Paramedics took the victim to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No further information was available about the suspect, and authorities with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who are investigating the incident did not return calls. The sheriff’s department oversees law enforcement on all Metro trains and buses.
Littman said the Santa Monica/Vermont station was closed for approximately two hours while authorities conducted their investigation, and trains were diverted to a single track until noon, causing 15-minute delays in each direction. He said it was the second death to occur on the Red Line, which opened in 1993. Another homicide occurred on the line in 2011, but Littman did not have any details. He stressed that sheriff’s deputies and security personnel routinely ride the line and monitor the stations for trouble, but incidents occur from “time-to-time.”
“Over the years, we have carried hundreds of millions of riders, and this is only the second time a homicide has occurred,” Littman said. “It’s unfortunate, but if people are concerned about riding the subway, it is very safe.”
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Det. Rich Ramirez, with the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, at (323)890-5500.
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