Police on Tuesday were searching for two men accused of yanking a mentally ill man from his bed in a group home and fatally beating him with a bicycle rim because he was "making too much noise."
The victim, John Lubben, was a UC Berkeley graduate who started showing signs of mental illness in New York, where he was working after 9/11, police said. He returned to California and was homeless for some time.
Lubben found a place to live at a transitional home near Exposition Park and was living there for the past six years, police said.
It was at that residence on April 21 when two men who were rooming with Lubben allegedly became upset with him for making too much noise.
The two men pulled Lubben from his bunk and punched and kicked him over and over, police said.
They then took a bicycle rim and pummeled him with it before dragging him outside and throwing him onto several trash cans, police said.
Lubben was later taken to California Hospital on Grand Avenue, suffering from a fractured skull, police said. He died less than 48 hours after the incident.
"The fact that he now had a roof over his head, we felt that he was safe. Now we know it differently," said Nancy Lubben, one of the victim’s sisters.
Police have identified the two attackers as Martin Santana and Hugo Parra, both of whom had criminal records and are known to have worked in construction. Investigators believe they are still in the Los Angeles area and are hoping to find the suspects through family and work ties.
"They need to be found. This was a brutal killing," LAPD Detective Robert Lait said. "He didn’t deserve to die this way."
The LAPD’s Criminal Gang Homicide Division is also asking the public to help find the suspects and encourages anyone with information to contact police.
"We want to keep what happened to us from happening to another family," Nancy Lubben said.