Police are urging the homeless to seek shelter as the search continues for a man wanted in connection with three non-fatal stabbings in Los Angeles and Santa Monica – all of them including a type-written “death warrant” found at the scene signed with the name David Ben Keyes. Police say their person of interest could go by the names David Ben Keyes or Courtney Anthony Robinson. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 20, 2012.
As a search continued on Friday to find a man wanted for questioning in connection with the stabbings of three homeless people as they slept in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Santa Monica, police urged transients to seek shelter and get off the streets.
“If possible, get yourself into a shelter,” said Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andy Smith. “Get somewhere where you can be protected.”
Someone stabbed the victims and left behind a “signed death warrant.” The victims survived the stabbings.
Police want to talk to David Ben Keyes, who police have identified as a “person of interest” in the case, said Officer Karen Rayner, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman.
On his Facebook page, he's a self-described chief executive at a multi-billion dollar company.
Police say he could also be operating under the name Courtney Anthony Robinson.
"We believe he’s a homeless individual now, and wandering around the city of Los Angeles and the city of Santa Monica," said Cmdr. Smith
The notes left behind by the attacker were signed with his name, police said.
The stabbings have sent a shiver of fear through homeless communities throughout the region.
"Robbing us while we're asleep. I never thought people would be out there getting stabbed," said John Roseli, who lives on the street with his wife and three small children.
In the first attack, reported July 3, a 56-year-old homeless man was found wounded near the intersection of Main and Third streets in downtown L.A.
He had a large “hunting-type” knife protruding from his back, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A typed “death warrant” signed by the attacker was left at the scene, Smith said, adding that someone was seen fleeing from the area. He was described as a thin, slender, male African American.
A second homeless man who had been stabbed was found Tuesday, along with another signed note.
That victim was stabbed while laying on a bus bench near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, police said.
The latest victim was a 54-year-old homeless woman who was stabbed in the back while she slept Thursday near La Brea and De Longpre avenues, police said.
Another “death warrant” was found. Police found a black kitchen knife, according to The Times.