17-year-old student stabbed to death while waiting for mom outside LA restaurant

ByNadine El-Bawab ABCNews logo
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Teen waiting for mom outside restaurant stabbed to death
A 17-year-old straight-A student was stabbed to death while waiting for his mother outside a restaurant in El Sereno.

LOS ANGELES -- A suspect is in custody after a 17-year-old student was stabbed to death while waiting for his mother to pick him up from a restaurant in Los Angeles' El Sereno neighborhood.

The teenager, Xavier Chavarin, was standing on the sidewalk at about 4 p.m. outside King Torta restaurant in El Sereno waiting for his mother to pick him up when he was stabbed, police said.

Family members told Los Angeles ABC station KABC that he was a straight-A student at Woodrow Wilson High School and was set to graduate in the spring.

Homicide detectives were able to obtain video that appeared to capture the suspect drive to the location, exit his vehicle and approach the victim. The suspect then produced a large knife and stabbed the victim multiple times.

His family said Chavarin later collapsed and died inside the restaurant while trying to get help.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded and attempted to perform lifesaving measures, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police described the suspect as about 5-foot-1 with long, wavy black hair and a long beard who was wearing a long black jacket with a black shirt underneath. Police were also searching for a black Honda CRV.

Police believe that the suspect was also involved in a separate assault with a deadly weapon following the stabbing of Chavarin. The suspect allegedly approached a 33-year-old man and stabbed him several times without saying anything. The victim survived the attack.

In that incident, the suspect appeared to have been wearing the same clothes, but was not wearing a baseball hat and he rode a skateboard during his assault.

The LAPD released these images of a man suspected in two separate stabbings in El Sereno on March 3, 2023.

The Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday morning it had surrounded a home in Alhambra where the suspect was believed to be barricaded. Not long after, police said he had surrendered without incident.

"The crisis negotiation team [and] our mental evaluation unit did an outstanding job negotiating with him and assuring that we came to a peaceful resolution. They used all the de-escalation tactics and were very professional and he came out and surrendered to the officers without incident," Los Angeles Police Cmdr. German Hurtado told reporters at the scene after the suspect was taken into custody.

The suspect had prior mental health incidents, Hurtado told reporters prior to the suspect being taken into custody.