A security guard was discovered dead in a Malibu parking lot Tuesday morning, authorities said.
His body was discovered in a pool of blood in a parking lot in the 30000 block of Pacific Coast Highway at 7 a.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
At 7 a.m., the victim was discovered in the parking lot of the Trancas Canyon Nursery after what appeared to be an assault that happened overnight.
Deputies with the Lost Hills Sheriff's station said the death was being investigated as "of suspicious nature."
People who frequent and work in the area say although it is busy during the day, there is normally only one person there at night, and that is the security guard.
"They do have security guards here -- we all know them," said Chris Frost, the Malibu Public Safety Commission chair.
The news shook longtime residents of Malibu— many of whom frequent the Trancas Country Market, a collection of shops off Pacific Coast Highway.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
"They examined the victim. He appeared to sustain some sort of blunt force trauma to the upper torso," Lt. Vincent Ursini said.
Detectives say it appears there was at least one blow to the head, but how it happened and if someone else was involved is still unknown. No weapons were found, but they are calling the death suspicious.
"There was some to the head but there might have been to other portions of the torso. We just don’t know at this point," Ursini said.
"It's scary as hell. I walk my dog through here every day and I know the security guards by face. I wave at them. They’re nice people," resident Hans Lietz said.
Lietz works for the local radio station in Malibu.
"I don’t know his name and I’m sorry I didn’t make friends with him," he said.
"It's tragic. Most of these guys who’ve worked here worked here for a long time. They aren’t guys that come here and work for a week and then they’re gone. People in the neighborhood know them and greet them," Frost said.
Investigators say they don’t know yet if surveillance video captured what happened. The security guard has not yet been identified.