A skateboarder who fatally stabbed a chain-wielding man on a Red Line train beneath Hollywood -- the first killing on a modern Los Angeles subway -- may be identified as detectives review the train's surveillance video pictures, a sheriff's sergeant said Saturday.
The video may show events leading up to the stabbing, which occurred in front of a carload of Metrorail patrons as the subway car sped west under Hollywood Boulevard at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Witnesses said the skateboarder was attacked by the man, who wielded some type of bicycle chain to initiate a fight. The video pictures have not been released.
"Because it's evidence, once they've reviewed it, they'll make a determination if they want to release it" said sheriff's Sgt. Diane Hecht today.
The stabbing occurred between the Western and the Vine stations and was the first on the Red Line since it opened in 1993, deputies said.
The name of the man will be released pending notification of next of kin, said Coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz. Sheriff's deputies described him as a Hispanic man in his 50s.
Authorities are now in search of the suspect.
Times music reporter Todd Martens said he saw the attack.
"The man with a chain started swinging wildly ... he was flailing his chain but it wasn't really hitting the guy," Martens told The Times. "He just seemed crazy."
A man with two skateboards and a bag pulled out a small knife and stabbed the chain-wielding man in his chest.
The stabber stepped back and said, "'Oh, no, why did you make me do that?'" Martens said.
The wounded man collapsed and began shaking, The Times reported. The train operator momentarily stopped the train, and the stabber slumped to the floor of the train and began asking for help.
"You saw him attack me, right? Please say you did," he asked passengers, according to Martens. In his bag, the stabber, who appeared to be in his 20s, had what looked like a new blue shirt, and two other passengers urged him to change out of his bloodied clothes, according to Martens.
The assailant, described as being of Asian descent with acne scars on his face, put on a new shirt and stuffed the bloody one into his bag, bolting out of the door at the Hollywood/Vine Station.
"There are cameras on the trains," sheriff's Sgt. Harry Drucker said. "That footage feeds into a hard drive and our homicide detectives will be requesting a download of that video from the Metro people."
Although the incident occurred within Los Angeles city limits, sheriff's deputies patrol Metrorail facilities and are investigating this case. They asked anyone any information about the killing to call detectives at (323) 890-5500.