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Victim of deadly Metro stabbing identified as family demands justice

Victim of deadly Metro stabbing identified as 67-year-old mother
Victim of deadly Metro stabbing identified as 67-year-old mother 03:17

Authorities have identified the victim of Monday morning's fatal stabbing on at a Metro station in Universal City. 

Mirna Soza Arauz, 67, was killed after she was brutally attacked by a man as she exited the Metro B Line train to the station in the 3800 block of Lankershim Boulevard at around 5 a.m., according to Los Angeles Police Department investigators. 

Mirna Arauz. GoFundMe

She was stabbed in the throat during the apparently unprovoked attack and died after being rushed to a nearby hospital. Police say she was on her way home from an overnight shift at Tommy's Burgers in North Hills when it happened. 

The accused killer has been identified as 45-year-old homeless man Elliot Tramel Nowden, who was allegedly armed with two knives during the attack. He was arrested nearly 30 minutes after the attack. 

Elliot Tramel Nowden, the man arrested for the deadly attack on Monday.  Los Angeles Police Department

Police say has a troubling and violent criminal history that includes previous assaults. In 2020, he was sentenced to four years in prison on an assault with a deadly weapon conviction with an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury. He served about half of that sentence before he was released in 2022. 

This attack is just the latest jarring act of violence to happen on the Metro transit system in recent weeks. Last week, a Metro bus driver was involved in an altercation with a person who had kicked in the glass door of the bus. 

Before that, a male passenger was stabbed during an argument that happened on a Metro bus in the Silver Lake area, resulting in an arrest. That same day, a Metro bus driver was brutally attacked near South Los Angeles, when a suspect punched and stabbed him before fleeing. That man is still on the loose.  

"This incident is extremely, extremely tragic," said LAPD Interim Chief Dominic Choi on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Police Commission meeting. "It's not just about the numbers, it's about ... the feeling of safety." 

Coworkers say that Arauz was saving money so that she could go back home to be with her children, who live in Nicaragua. They remember her for her big heart and her kindness, often walking people home after their shift to make sure they arrived safely. 

Family members are hopeful that they can raise enough money to send Arauz back to Nicaragua so she can have a proper funeral. A GoFundMe can be found by searching for the keywords: "Fund Mirna's Journey Home for Final Rest."

"While we appreciate the first responders that tried to save her life, we hope that Mirna's death does not go unnoticed, and results in real change to the public safety efforts in the area," said a message from Arauz's nephew on the fundraising page. "It's a tragedy for the immigrant community of Los Angeles and for all that rely on the Metro to get home safe. We will not rest until justice is served."

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