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One Dead in Early Morning Shooting on Los Angeles Street

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, April 16, 2010, at 09:25AM
Body on Los Angeles Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A police officer stands near the body of a man fatally shot on Los Angeles street early this morning.

An early shooting on Los Angeles street left one man dead this morning next to the Santa Fe Lofts. Police are hoping video footage will help them find a man who killed Conrad Fitzgerald Phillip, 41, with a single gun shot at 5:15am.

A witness described the shooter as a black male in his 30's wearing a green army jacket. A man was detained shortly after police responded to the scene, but was later released without charges.

"We've identified some cameras," said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of Central Division detectives. "We're having technicians go and try to pull that video."

Phillip, who was known by the nickname Dread because of his hair, is described as being a well-liked resident of Skid Row. He died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

The stretch of Los Angeles street acts as a dividing line between Skid Row and Downtown's redevelopment. The Santa Fe and P.E. Lofts stand on the corner at 6th, and the block of 6th between Main and Los Angeles is home to three bars, a bakery, two eateries, a pet supplies store and a hair salon.

Former Santa Fe Lofts resident Rich Alossi was not surprised to hear of the shooting. "I knew it would happen sooner or later," he said this morning. "There were two drive-bys when we lived there and that's exactly why we moved."

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich last week announced an injunction aimed at keeping known drug dealers out of the Skid Row area. While it is too early to say exactly what led to this morning's shooting, Vernon said that the timing matches the profile of a drug dispute.

"These so-called 'commuter' drug dealers come in from South L.A., East L.A., drop off their drugs to other people who sell for them sort of on consignment, and then come back at the end of the day and pick up their money," he explained.

The shooting is Downtown's second homicide of 2010. A 74-year-old hotel manager was murdered on 4th street in January. That suspect was arrested one week later.

"To put [these murders] in perspective, in the late 80's and early 90's we would have 46 murders a year, and a lot of them were like this," Vernon said. "Last year we had five murders [in Central Division] and three of them were related to something like this."

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Central Division's detective desk at 213-972-1203.

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