SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) —    A verbal fight in Santa Monica quickly escalated into a stabbing but not before the victim was able to get  a cellphone shot of the alleged attacker.

The stabbing happened around 11:30 a.m. just outside an REI store, near the 3rd Street Promenade.

READ MORE: Día De Los Muertos Celebrations and Others Return To LA

While the area has lot of security camera, police said their biggest break came from the victim.

Police told CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo that the victim was able to grab a clear image of the attacker on his cellphone.

Witnesses told her that the men began yelling at each other when things quickly escalated.

“The guy pulled out a knife,” said one man, “and he just started stabbing. And the [victim] was screaming. And I heard people in the distance calling the cops.”

READ MORE: Sigma Nu Fraternity At USC Suspends Member At Center Of Sexual Assault Allegations

Santa Monica Police said the victim had serious injuries but is in stable condition.

Crime scene tape was up for much of the day. It and news of the stabbing had many wondering if any place is safe?

“You gotta watch yourself,” said one man, “you gotta watch your back. This is Santa Monica. This used to be a sleepy, old dusty little town that no one would even come to. Now look. Blood on the streets.”

Police do not believe the attack was random and they are hoping someone recognizes the man in the photo.

The suspect is described as thin, in his 20-30s withl long,  light brown hair in a bun or ponytail. He was also dressed in black from head to toe.

MORE NEWS: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims

Police said the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.