The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a second suspect involved in the fatal knife attack of a 17-year-old high school student in El Sereno, California.
According to LAPD, David Anthony Zapata, 32, was arrested Wednesday night in the stabbings of Xavier David Chavarin, 17, as well as Daniel Villalobos, 33, hours after the attack on the Woodrow High School student. Wilson.
Police now say they are looking for a second person who may have driven the vehicle Zapata used to escape the crime scenes.
The valedictorian’s stabbing occurred without provocation, and video shows Zapata walking across a parking lot toward the teen before pulling a knife from his pocket.
Chavarin entered the King Torta restaurant on Valley Boulevard calling for help before collapsing to the floor and dying at the scene. said the police.
The suspect, David Anthony Zapata, was taken into custody by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Wednesday after a confrontation with police at a home in Alhambra.
Zapata, 32, is accused of stabbing Xavier Chavarin, 17, and Daniel Villalobos, 33
Chavarín died at the scene, according to police. Witnesses said the teen entered the restaurant and called for help before collapsing to the ground.
According to officers, a possible second suspect in the stabbings is being sought.
Police did not release the name or description of the person involved.
Officers said they are “actively pursuing” leads related to the hit-and-run driver.
As of Thursday afternoon, no additional arrests have been made.
In a recent Press conferenceLAPD officials said Zapata, who has a history of mental illness, attacked both Chavarin and Villalobos “without provocation.”
“Both incidents were completely unprovoked,” Detective Ryan Rabbett said. These citizens were attacked for no apparent reason.
Despite his health history, the detective said that’s no excuse for the attacks.
“His mental health is not a reason for what he did, and I’ll just leave it at that,” he said.
Rabbett said that Zapata was seven misdemeanor arrests but not felony arrests.
Police say Zapata stabbed Villalobos hours after Chavarin and only “a mile and a half away” from the first scene.
Chavarín’s family remembers him as an intelligent student who “was going to graduate with honors.”
“Both incidents were totally unprovoked,” Los Angeles Police Department Detective Ryan Rabbett said. ‘These citizens were attacked for no apparent reason’
He stabbed Chavarín outside Rey Torta, where the student was waiting for his mother to pick him up. The suspect has also been accused of stabbing a 33-year-old man on the same road later that night.
Security footage, released by the LAPD, shows the moment just before the teen was stabbed. The suspect can be seen walking calmly across the parking lot toward the student, who is off camera, before pulling a large knife from his pocket and attacking Chavarin.
Chavarín was reportedly stabbed outside the King Torto restaurant while waiting for his mother.
‘He never knew this was going to happen. It’s one of those cases where he’s at the wrong time, in the wrong place,” family friend Ricky Ramiro told KTLA.
Los Angeles police arrested the man Wednesday after receiving a tip that someone of similar appearance was living in the Alhambra home.
He had also reportedly caused trouble within his own neighborhood.
The LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division blocked off the home on Westmont Drive around 7 a.m. and two armored vehicles were brought in to blockade the surrounding area, the Los Angeles Times informed.
Commander Germán Hurtado and a crisis negotiator persuaded the man to leave the house after several hours.
A mental health assessment team, the crisis negotiator and the man’s mother spoke to him by phone to talk him out, the Times reported.
He was taken into custody without incident.
“I don’t want to tarnish the investigation, (but) he won’t be able to hurt anyone else,” Hurtado said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
They set up a small memorial for the teenager who was murdered in El Sereno last week
Commander Germán Hurtado and a crisis negotiator persuaded the man to leave the house after several hours. A mental health assessment team, the crisis negotiator and the man’s mother spoke to him on the phone to talk him out.
Woodrow Wilson High School Principal Gregorio Verbera said the school was “saddened” by the student’s death and offered his “deepest condolences to those affected by this loss, including family, friends and teachers.” of student”.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for Chavarín’s funeral, which has already raised $52,276, surpassing its goal of $25,000.
Anyone with information about the case or the unknown second suspect is asked to call detectives at 213-996-4116.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.