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Fight Inside Skid Row Apartment Leaves One Man Dead

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, at 12:49AM
LAPD Tape Night File Photo / blogdowntown

A fight inside a Skid Row apartment left one man dead Tuesday evening, less than one week after civic officials attended a grand opening for the $25 million structure.

Just before 8pm, a woman flagged down passing police officers to report the sounds of a fight upstairs in the Renato Apartments, at 531 S. San Julian. Officers were able to pinpoint the unit and inside they found a grisly scene.

"They found a bloody mess inside, and two men all but dead,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer the Central Detective Division.

“We’ll be talking to the surviving man to get a better idea of what happened,” Lt. Vernon explained. “Clearly this is a homicide, and the evidence should be able to tell us which man was responsible, and as is so common, alcohol appears to have played a big part in this incident.”

The deceased man was described as Hispanic and in his 60s. The other was taken to an area hospital, where he is said to be providing some information to detectives. At least one knife was found inside the small room.

Last Thursday, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Jan Perry were among the elected officials to attend the grand opening of the Renato Apartments, which offers permanent-supportive housing to low-income residents. 60 of the building's 96 apartments are reserved for the chronically homeless and those who suffer from mental illness. The building was developed by SRO Housing Corporation.

The death is Downtown's fifth homicide for 2010. There were six homicides Downtown in 2009, the lowest number in more than 20 years.

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