Crime & Justice

3 children found stabbed to death in South LA car; dad is suspect

Three children were found stabbed to death in an SUV in the 300 block of East 32nd Street Wednesday.
Three children were found stabbed to death in an SUV in the 300 block of East 32nd Street Wednesday.
screengrab from Google maps

Update 5:47 p.m. Dad is suspect in children's stabbings

Police believe a man stabbed his three young sons to death in the back seat of their car outside a South Los Angeles elementary school before turning the knife on himself.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says the boys, ages 8 to 12, were found dead Wednesday morning in the back of an SUV. Their father was bleeding from stab wounds in the front seat and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Officer Matthew Ludwig later said detectives believe the father is the one who killed the boys, and there are no other suspects. The motive is being investigated.

Officer Liliana Preciado says the father's stab wounds are believed to be self-inflicted.

Beck says the crime scene was horrific and that "it is a sad day in L.A."


11:30 a.m. Three elementary school age children were found dead and one man was found injured in an SUV in South LA Wednesday morning.

Officers received a radio call of an assault at around 7 a.m. Wednesday in the 300 block of East 32nd Street.

When officers arrived at the scene they found a man suffering from stab wounds and three children stabbed to death, LAPD officer Matthew Ludwig told KPCC. 

The man, whose age is unknown, was taken to the hospital.

The relationship between the children, all boys aged 8 to 12, and the man is unknown but officers believe the man found in the car to be the father of the children, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference Wednesday. The children do not attend the adjacent elementary school but are LAUSD students.

“These are horrific incidents,” said Beck. “They scar not only a community but the first responders.”

Detectives have evidence that leads them to believe they have the suspect in custody and that no other suspects remain, said Beck, but he declined to reveal the evidence that led to that conclusion, due to the ongoing investigation.

Beck declined to answer whether the man found stabbed in the SUV is a suspect.

“I take this personally,” said Councilman Curren D. Price at the news conference. “I live right around the corner."

Price mentioned that he and the police will work with the community to create a fund in honor of the children as a way to support the family and express condolences.

Wednesday’s incident is the latest in a recent uptick in violent crime in South L.A.

“We are deploying more units in the area to provide extra patrol in those areas,” Ludwig said regarding police response to the violent crime increase.