Conrad Phillip, 41
Died April 16, 2010 at 5:22 a.m.
Conrad Phillip, a 41-year-old black man, was shot and killed Friday, April 16, in the 500 block of South Los Angeles Street in downtown, according to authorities.
The incident began about 5:15 a.m. when witnesses at a downtown loft heard a gunshot, and a security guard noticed a man running from an area near Los Angeles Avenue and 6th Street, said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The security guard chased the man, who was running north on Main Street, before he lost him.
At Los Angeles and 6th streets, police officers found Phillip's body with a gunshot wound to the head, Vernon said.
In their investigation, officials identified the shooter as skid row resident Charles Colbert, a 50-year-old black man. The shooting may have arisen out of a personal dispute between the men.
Officers narrowed their hunt to Colbert after interviewing possible witnesses and reviewing video surveillance footage from both the location of the shooting and the Pershing Hotel, where both Phillip and Colbert lived.
“The footage from the crime scene was very grainy, but it did allow us to identify a few articles of clothing,” Vernon said.
Video from the nearby hotel appeared to show the same person entering shortly after the shooting. The information led investigators to Colbert, and police served a search warrant that night on his room.
Colbert was not there, but officers found unspecified evidence that bolstered their suspicion, Vernon said. They did not find the handgun used in the shooting.
After two days on the run, Colbert called detectives Sunday night after he saw himself on the news, Vernon said, and surrendered to Los Angeles police detectives. He was booked on suspicion of murder in connection with Phillip's death.
“Despite the arrest, the investigation continues,” Vernon said. “We want to encourage the public to provide any tips they may have on this case.”
Colbert is being held without bail at the downtown Metropolitan Jail.
Anyone with information can contact Los Angeles Police Department Det. Al Marengo of the Central Homicide Unit at (213) 842-0727. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
— Richard Winton, Howard Blume and Andrew Blankstein
Top photo: Conrad Phillip. Credit: DMV. Middle photo: LAPD officers stand by Conrad Phillip's body Friday near skid row. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times. Bottom photo: Charles Colbert, pictured, was booked on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of Conrad Phillip. Credit: LAPD
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Updated: June 12, 2010 at 2:12 p.m.