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74-year-old killed in Calif. Wal-Mart baseball bat attack

Investigators outside a Lakewood, Calif. Wal-Mart where a man allegedly beat another man to death with a baseball bat, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
KCAL
(CBS/KCAL) LAKEWOOD, Ca. -- A 74-year-old man is dead after a man attacked him with a baseball bat at a Lakewood Wal-Mart on Tuesday.

CBS station KCAL is reporting that 46-year-old Richard Lawrence Kalfin approached the elderly man who was browsing in the sporting goods aisle and asked him if he could spare some change.

The suspect supposedly did not like the way the man responded.

Moments after, the customer lay dead after being repeatedly bashed in the head with a bat from the sports aisle.  The Los Angeles Times says witnesses reported that the suspect seemed to be homeless, and described the attack as vicious and methodical.

Based on store security video, it appears the attacker was wandering up and down aisles for a little while before the victim entered. Kalfin grabbed a baseball bat from a display rack and continued to walk the isles until he stopped by the victim and proceeded to attack.

Authorities are saying it was a case of the victim being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"What we know is that this attack was completely random," said Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau Lt. Eddie Hernandez, who called the crime "one of the most brutal he had seen." "There was no warning whatsoever," he said. There is no evidence the two knew of each other or had communication before the attack.

Kalfin was captured at the scene and was taken in on suspicion of murder. He is being held on $1 million bail and is to appear in court on Thursday.

The store was evacuated at 4pm the day of the attack and did not reopen until Wednesday at 10:30.

Wal-Mart said in a statement Wednesday, "We express our deepest condolences to the family of this man as they grieve the loss of their loved one. We are working closely with law enforcement to offer what information we have such as surveillance video that might help with the investigation."


  • Katie Wiggin

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