LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives investigating a beating last week on a train platform are now investigating a homicide.
The 65-year-old victim, now identified as LA resident John Whitmore, was standing on a Metro-Blue Line Imperial/Wilmington train platform on Friday afternoon June 13, when he was accosted and assaulted by two black females.
The assault happened about 1:20 p.m. in Willowbrook.
On Sunday, KCAL’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to Whitmore’s heartbroken family. Whitmore, they said, was a talented painter who loved life.
Whitmore was waiting for a train when the two women — for unknown reasons — began to hit him with their fists and kick him until he fell to the ground.
“It was very heartbreaking. He’s brilliant artist. He was articulate. He could not speak at all,” said Gwen Whitmore-Aldridge, about her brother.
Whitmore was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center. He succumbed to his beating Friday, June 20 at around 2 a.m.
The victim was just running errands at the time he was accosted and apparently attacked with no provocation.
“He was just on his way to pick up medication and some food when he was senselessly beaten,” said his brother-in-law, Corey Aldridge.
Whitmore was in the hospital for three days before his family even knew where he was.
“He looked horrible. He could barely talk. He couldn’t move his legs. His mouth was like he had a stroke,” said his sister.
There are cameras on the platform where the beating took place and investigators told Nguyen they were scouring over the footage.
The video apparently shows the women attacking Whitmore for no reason.
“Turn yourself in,” the victim’s sister implored, “it was a senseless killing of an old man.”
The family told Nguyen that Whitmore was so camera shy that there has only been one photo taken of him in the past several years and it was with detectives.