Los Angeles: Police are asking the public’s help in solving the murder of a well-known and well-liked Skidrow resident, Conrad Fitzgerald Phillip, 41, known by the nickname, Dread, for the long dreadlocks he wore.
“Despite the early hour, we know there were many people in the area who saw this happen,” said
Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. “We’ve already had several persons come forward with information, but we need more.”
Just after 5 a.m., security guards from several buildings reported hearing a gunshot in the vicinity of the SB Lofts on Los Angeles Street. One guard saw a Black man, wearing a green jacket, running toward Main Street, from Los Angeles Street. A few minutes later, the guard found Phillp lying on the west sidewalk of Los Angeles Street, at 6th Street, next to a skateboard shop. Paramedics pronounced Phillip dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
Patrol officers retraced the route of the suspect’s escape and detained a man a few minutes after the shooting, on Main Street. That man had no gun, but is on parole. Detectives interviewed him at the police station, then released him without charge. “He was quite cooperative,” Lt. Vernon added.
This shooting was the second murder downtown this year. Last year saw a total of 5 homicides downtown, including the double murder at the Lamp Lodge. The last fatal street shooting occurred last November when a woman shot another woman over a dispute on San Julian Street, just three blocks east of this morning’s shooting.
“Unlike twenty years ago when we had nearly 50 murders a year downtown,” Lt. Vernon explained, “I can count on one hand the annual number of shootings and murders downtown. That’s a big change for the better.”
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Al Marengo, Central Homicide Unit, at 213-842-0727. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.