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Two Men Stabbed To Death While Playing Mahjong In Chinatown

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Police are investigating a double murder that occurred Thursday afternoon in Chinatown.

At about 2:45 p.m., an unidentified man stabbed two men to death as they played mahjong at the Hop Sing Tong Benevolent Association, located in the 900 block of North Broadway in Chinatown, City News Service reports. Investigators were looking into the possibility that the incident was tied to a gambling debt.

Authorities used a bloodhound to attempt to track the alleged attacker, who left a trail of blood through the plaza and north on Hill Street, according to KTLA. Though neither the identity of the victims nor the suspect have been released at this time, LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery tells LAist that the suspect has been described as an Asian man in his 30s. He remains at large.

The victims have been described as two Asian men in their 60s. Investigators say the alleged killer got into an argument and stabbed one of the men, then attacked the second man when he tried to break up the fight.

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Peter Ng, who was friends with one of the victims, told ABC 7 that he knew the killer, and that his friend and the attacker had been on bad terms for a while and had just had an argument a few days ago. "He's a good guy," Ng said of his friend. "He might have a past that was a little bit exciting, but he's settled down and he's really putting his effort to help the community."

In an interview with NBC 4, Ng described his friend's past as "colorful." What exactly that means is not clear, though others familiar with the club told NBC 4 that there have been issues there in the past.

According to the L.A. Times, the Hop Sing Tong is a private club that opened in Chinatown in 1876. In 1994, club president Phillip Toy Lieu, 44, was shot and killed by a fellow club member as he left a meeting.