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Downtown LA business owners concerned crime is uncontrollable

Recent stabbing attack in Downtown LA has community on edge over safety concerns
Recent stabbing attack in Downtown LA has community on edge over safety concerns 02:21

Tuesday night's stabbing spree inside a target store in Downtown Los Angeles has residents and people who work in the area extremely concerned. 

There's no question that homelessness has expanded dramatically in Downtown LA but now business owners are demanding more from the city government in order to prevent another stabbing like the one that took place Tuesday. 

A homeless man stabbed a child and woman that night inside the Downtown LA Target store located on 7th and Figueroa Street. 

The suspect was shot by a security guard and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The two victims did not suffer fatal injuries but the woman was said to be in critical but stable condition. 

Fortunately, the stabbing did not result in a fatal conclusion but business owners say the attack was just one of many crimes that take place in the area on a daily basis. 

"Problem we are having is people walking in, grabbing merchandise and leave and Burlington policy right now is a hands off policy liability to stop someone," Nejdeh Avedian said. "People coming in smashing and not just our building, but all over frustrating tenants and customers. I want to change all that."

Avedian is the owner of A property building that houses a Burlington Department Store and several other businesses in Downtown LA. 

He told CBSLA Reporter Jasmine Viel that on a daily basis, people go into the Burlington store and steal items. The department store's policy is to to not provoke or try and stop shoplifters. 

Avedian, who also owns the Saint Vincent jewelry center on 7th and Broadway, has hired private armed security but said crime still runs rampant.  

Claudia Oliveira is the President of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council. She is working with Avedian to try and make Downtown LA safer. 

"Property crime can definitely escalate to something else. It's for the mayor to declare a state of emergency and pass legislation and make decisions that normally would take years able to make," Oliveira said. 

Melynda Choothesa is on the neighborhood council board and owns Quirk, a resale clothing store. With a mother who suffers from mental illness, she is sympathetic to what she sees on the street every day.

"We need to change policy. We can't allow people who can't make sound decisions for themselves to continue to decide not to get help," Choothesa said.

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