suspected gang member stabbed to death a young man in Highland Park on Veterans' Day Monday
following a fistfight between the victim and another gang member.
The victim, aged 19 years, was identified as Andrew Michael Sittiams, according to a post on the Los Angeles Police Department Northeast Division Facebook page. He succumbed to his injuries after being transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena about an hour-and-a-half after being stabbed, Sgt. Lisa Philips, a watch commander at the LAPD Northeast Division told Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch.
It was the sixth murder in the Northeast Division so far this year, and it occurred just three days after LAPD Chief Charlie Beck quoted the latest 2013 crime figures and reported that homicides in Northeast Los Angeles have dropped dramatically by 50 percent, setting the city on track to record the lowest number of homicides since 1966.
There was no known motive for Monday’s murder, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m. on the 7100 block of North Figueroa Street, less than half a mile east of the Yosemite Drive intersection in Eagle Rock, Philips said. (See attached map.) Detectives are trying to piece together evidence from the murder and have made no arrests so far, the watch commander said.
What’s known about the incident is that the victim and a male friend of his were walking north on Figueroa when the two suspects drove by in a dark-gray four-door sedan, Philips said. One of the suspects asked the victim and his friend which gang they were from, the watch commander said, adding that “some sort of words were exchanged” and the suspects drove away but then returned.
The suspect who was driving got out of the sedan and a fistfight ensued between him and the victim, Philips said. That’s when the second suspect jumped out of the car and “began stabbing the victim, who eventually collapsed,” Philips said, adding that both suspects then jumped into their vehicle and drove south along Figueroa.
Both suspects are believed to be aged 20 years to 25 years, and had tattoos on their faces, Philips said. The suspect who got into a fistfight with the victim had tattoos on his chin as well and is described as about six feet tall, the watch commander said. The other suspect is about 5-foot-8.
The suspects’ gang affiliations are not currently known. Neither the victim nor his friend are believed to be gang members, Philips said, adding that the entire incident appears to be a random one, as opposed to something preplanned.
The lead detective investigating the murder is Det. Harold Dicroce, who also investigated the well-known Matthew Turner case in which a 21-year-old Highland Park resident was convicted of killing a local gang member and maiming another in October 2008.
Editor's note: The name of the victim has been added to this article since it was initially published.