A 59-year-old homeless woman was stabbed in the head with a kitchen knife while sleeping on a sidewalk in Historic South- Central Los Angeles early Tuesday , authorities said.
Surveillance video of the attack, released by the Los Angeles Police Department, shows a masked man walking along the sidewalk with a knife in his right hand, approaching the woman — who was lying under a blanket along a wall — and thrusting the knife downward once before running off.
The woman appears to sit up after the attack and was later rushed to a local hospital in critical condition, police said.
The stabbing occurred near 25th and San Pedro streets just after midnight Tuesday, authorities said. A passerby called police.
Officials did not release a motive in the attack or say whether the woman was targeted, and they do not have a suspect.
The stabbing is the latest in a string of violent attacks involving homeless people in the city.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in early April that there had been 651 violent crimes perpetrated against homeless people to that point in 2021, compared with 637 at the same time last year. More than a dozen homicide victims this year have been homeless.
Moore said the LAPD has linked some of the violence to the “interchange between gang violence and homeless encampments, where we’ve seen an increase in retaliation and in disputes involving persons experiencing homelessness and narcotics sales.”
Some homeless residents and advocates have cited violent crime against homeless victims as one reason the city should not displace residents from encampments, where some find community and safety.
Police are asking anyone with information about the stabbing to call detectives at (323) 846-6566 or submit an anonymous tip to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.