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Police Investigating Early Morning Skid Row Homicide

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, at 01:31PM
LAPD Tape Night File Photo / blogdowntown

Police are investigating an early morning fight that left a man dead near the corner of 6th and Gladys on Tuesday. Rafael N. Hughes, 39, was found lying on the street at 4:40am after witnesses flagged down a pair of passing motorcycle officers.

Witnesses told police that Hughes had confronted another man about a drug debt before falling and striking his head on the pavement in the resulting fist fight.

“Unfortunately, these fights and the resulting injuries are too common here in Skid Row,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives for the Central Police Station. “This is the third time this year that a man has died as a result of striking his head on the ground during a fight with another person.”

Police say that Hughes lived in Norwalk, but came to Skid Row to play basketball daily.

The homicide is Downtown's eighth for 2011, though that count includes two incidents that took place before the start of the year and were later reclassified.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Detective Thayer Lake, Central Homicide Unit, at 213-972-1254.

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