Suspect identified in Friday skid row homicide


Police have identified skid row resident Charles Colbert, 50, as the suspect in the early Friday morning slaying of a man who lived in the same downtown Los Angeles hotel.

The victim, Conrad Phillip, 41, died of a gunshot wound to the head in the 500 block of South Los
Angeles Street outside a skate shop.

Officers narrowed their hunt to Colbert after interviewing possible witnesses and reviewing video surveillance footage from both the location of the shooting and the Pershing Hotel, where both victim
and suspect resided.

“The footage from the crime scene was very grainy but it did allow us to identify a few articles of clothing,” Lt. Paul Vernon said.  Video from the nearby hotel appeared to show the same person entering shortly after the shooting.
The information led investigators to Colbert, and police served a search warrant that night on Colbert’s room.

Colbert was not there, but officers found unspecified evidence that bolstered their suspicion of Colbert, Vernon said.They did not find the handgun used in the shooting; Vernon said Colbert should be considered armed and dangerous.  Colbert may also go by the name Anthony Williams. He is black, 5-foot-10, with a thin build and a dark complexion.  The Pershing Hotel is a single-room-occupancy hotel in the 500 block of South Main Street.  A native of Trinidad, Phillip was known by the nickname Dread for his long dreadlocks. He had lived in the skid row area for years, earning cash by selling individual cigarettes and incense, Vernon said.

The incident may have arisen out of a personal dispute with Colbert, a native of Ohio who has lived in California for some time.  The homicide was the second downtown this year. The last fatal street shooting occurred in November.

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