LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police Wednesday identified a woman who was stabbed to death Tuesday night near a popular Hollywood tourist attraction.
KNX 1070′s Vytas Safronikas reports investigators believe the victim, 23-year-old Christina Calderon of Lynwood, was taking photos outside the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex.
Police received a call shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday night about a female who was assaulted in front of an American Eagle store at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., according to the LAPD.
The LAPD Olympic Homicide detectives’ investigation revealed that Calderon was with a male friend walking in the area when they saw three men who were holding signs and panhandling, police said.
After Calderon and her friend reportedly took photos of the men with their cell phones, a dispute ensued and Calderon was stabbed in the torso.
The suspects, who were described as three white men in their late twenties and early thirties, were apparently upset that Calderon took the picture and demanded she give them money for doing so, officials said.
She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Calderon’s mother, Yolande Tassin, told KCAL9 she believes her daughter was the target of a hate crime.
She said one of the men came at her daughter with a knife while the other two men held her friend back from stepping in to help.
“Her friend was not touched. They went after my daughter, because of the way she looked,” she said.
“She did nothing wrong, she was taking pictures. She likes Hollywood.”
Calderon was working three jobs and going to school before her life was cut short, according to her mother.
Tassin said her daughter had a big heart and was pursuing her dream career.
“She came a long way in a short time… she wanted to be an engineer,” she said.
Authorities would not confirm if the incident is being investigated as a hate crime although investigators describe Calderon as an innocent victim.
Three suspects located near the scene were arrested and remained in police custody Wednesday, booked for murder. Any further charges could be pending.
Authorities say they have security footage from the scene and are searching it for video of the attack.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Olympic Homicide Detectives Dave Vinton or Jose Robledo at (213)382-9470.