VALLEY VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — Police on Saturday released the name of a homeless parolee suspected of fatally stabbing a Valley Village 7-Eleven clerk and critically wounding his co-worker wife when they tried to stop him from leaving the store without paying for a hot dog and a beer.
The suspect was identified as Hasaan Blunt, 42, who is being held without bail because he was already on parole, according to LAPD Officer Mike Lopez.
He is believed to be a transient, police said soon after the stabbings.
No information about the conviction that landed Blunt on parole was immediately available.
The victims were stabbed about 9:15 a.m. Friday at the convenience store at Laurel Canyon and Chandler Boulevards, said LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera.
The husband and wife were rushed to a hospital, where the man died and the woman was listed in critical condition, Herrera said. Their names have not been officially released.
Blunt was quickly taken into custody after police set up a perimeter in the area.
Police said he walked into the store where the couple worked as clerks and picked up a beer and a hot dog and tried to leave without paying.
The woman chased after him and the suspect stabbed her multiple times, prompting her husband to intervene, but the suspect stabbed him as well, police said.
People familiar with the store told reporters at the scene the couple worked side by side for years and was married about a year ago.
Customers identified the victims to CBS2’s Rachel Kim as Washil Uddin Ahmed, 55, and Lagrima “Paulina” Lopez.
Ahmed worked at the store for 26 years. He had two children from a previous marriage, an 11-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son.
Customers were quick to call both “beloved.”
“He knows everybody personally. He knows their names. He’d call people by their names. Sometimes, people don’t have change, he’d say go, pay tomorrow.” said customer Marian Murray.
“Friendly. Whatever people needs, he always helped,” said customer Mario Rodriguez. “I’m going to miss him. I just saw him two days ago. He was a really good friend.”
Longtime customers said transients typically hang out outside the store. Some customers said that many panhandlers outside the store have become increasingly aggressive.
Officials at 7-Eleven Inc. issued a statement calling the stabbings “a horrible situation.”
“Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We are gathering information and working with law enforcement.”
The store remained closed Saturday. A security guard was posted outside the door.