SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – A man has been arrested on murder charges, accused of stabbing another man to death while he was possibly asleep on a park bench Wednesday night near the Santa Monica Pier.

Joseph Ramirez Perez, 21, was booked on one count each of murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Joseph Ramirez Perez. (CBS2)

At 8:12 p.m. Wednesday, Santa Monica police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call at Tongva Park in the 1600 block of Ocean Avenue, across the street from the Santa Monica Pier.

They arrived to find a man on a bench with a stab wound to his abdomen and a suspect running from the scene, police said.

The victim was rushed to a local hospital, where he died. His name was not released. Authorities did not confirm if the victim was homeless.

RELATED: Fourth Man Dies In LA Homeless Attack Spree

Officers were able to quickly detain the fleeing suspect, later identified as Perez.

At this time, investigators believe that the victim may have been sleeping on the park bench prior to the stabbing, police said.

There was no word on a motive for the killing. Police did not say if the suspect and victim knew each other prior to the attack.

Perez is being held on $2 million bail.

This latest attack comes after a killing spree last month across Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles in which seven mostly homeless men were brutally beaten, four fatally.

The suspect in those attacks, 47-year-old Ramon Escobar, was arrested Sept. 24.


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