Los Angeles Police Department detectives are investigating an early-morning shooting that claimed the life of 35-year-old Jody Heard. The shooting in Skid Row occurred in the 600 block of South Maple Street, just a few feet from the LAPD's Central Police Station.
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According to police reports, an argument between Heard, who did not live on Skid Row, and the shooter may have preceded the shooting. There were dozens of people on the street when it happened. "Dozens of people sleep over night on the sidewalk on this block every night," said Lt. Paul Vernon, who is in charge of detectives for downtown. "Overnight disputes often lead to violence and people sleeping on the street are vulnerable. This is why we encourage everyone to use the shelters."
According to the LA County Coroner, Heard, who was recently paroled from prison on a narcotics conviction, was shot in the head. He was found dead on a sidewalk by paramedics.
The shooter fled the scene.
This is the third homicide downtown this year. Anyone with information about the July 19 homicide should contact LAPD Central Division detectives at (213) 842-0727.