Updated at the bottom with a murder charge being filed against the suspect. The victim and suspect are ID'd. First posted at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
A homeless man allegedly grabbed a bat from a Walmart sporting goods department and beat an elderly man to death in front of horrified shoppers yesterday after the victim refused his request for money, according to authorities and reports.
That random victim was a 74-year-old man, Capt. Mike Parker of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department confirmed.
The suspect, 47-year-old man, was “detained,” he said.
It all happened …
… at 4:47 p.m. at the Lakewood Walmart, 2770 Carson St., sheriff's homicide Lt.
Eddie Hernandez told City News Service.
Witness Jennifer Thompson told KCAL9 this:
It was very scary. very, very scary, to hear the noise of someone's life being taken away is very sad. Noises like moans and groans…you could hear when he hit him. It was awful, so awful. And then I went around the corner and peaked…and he just walked out like it was nothing.
The station reported that witnesses (which it said were kept away from reporters by deputies) said the suspect had asked the old man for cash and was turned down.
Another witness told Fox 11 News that the victim was down in a pool of blood.
Store security workers held onto the alleged killer until cops arrived.
The normally 24/7-open store was closed overnight for the investigation.
[Update]: The L.A. County District Attorney's office on Thursday announced a murder charge has been filed against the suspect, identified as 47-year-old Richard Lawrence Kalfin. Prosecutors allege he used a “deadly and dangerous weapon, a bat,” according to a D.A.'s statement.
The suspect, an arson convict, was expected to be arraigned in Bellflower this afternoon. His bail was set at $1.08 million. He could see 57 years behind bars if convicted.
The victim was identified by the office as David Oakleaf.
Some commenters below claimed to have known “Dave” (even before his name was made public) and said he was an off-road racing enthusiast who was a kind man.