Early Monday morning, Los Angeles sheriff's homicide detectives say the man killed outside a Malibu restaurant was "brutally beaten," not shot to death as originally believed, but now, detectives are reviewing the possibility that the death was not a homicide.
The 32-year-old man died near Guido's Restaurant, where he worked as a
late Sunday night. His name was withheld pending notification of relatives.
There were conflicting reports about the death, including one shortly afterward that indicated he had been shot. A report early this morning from the
sheriff's department indicated that the man had been confronted by a number of
people, and was viciously assaulted.
Early this afternoon, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the circumstances of the death were under review.
"This is an ongoing investigation, and we will learn more when the autopsy
is conducted," Whitmore said. "It is possible that this young man died of
It was originally believed that the victim was attacked in the back of the restaurant and managed to escape and stagger to the front of the restaurant prior to collapsing.
Once paramedics arrived, the man was pronounced dead on the scene, according to police.
KCAL9 reported on Monday that the body was found "covered in blood from head to toe" and a co-worker described the employee as "a real nice guy" who came from Central America and lived with his mother.
Sheriff's homicide detective Lt. Eddie Hernandez said the indications were that it was not a shooting, but he added that detectives were looking for a man seen around the parking lot just before the employee came out to empty the trash.
"We'd like to find out what he saw," Hernandez told KCAL9.
Los Angeles Times reported earlier Monday that the employee was last assigned to trash duty before his body was found close 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to restaurant manager Tony Waldrop.
The Los Angeles County Coroner's office was expected to begin examining the victim's body on Tuesday, but now, an autopsy is expected on Wednesday, according to officials at the coroner's office.
More details to follow.
--City News Service