Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Homeless Man Brutally Murdered by Another

The victim, Robert Burris
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

A 67-year-old homeless man was found dead over the weekend at a downtown homeless encampment with his throat slashed and his eyes gouged out. Police say another homeless man, 50-year-old Timothy Bishop, killed Robert Burrus. A witness saw Bishop on top of Burrus Friday night but did not realize what happened until the next morning when the dead body was found. “I’m not surprised the witness came forward so quickly,” Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives for the Central Police Station, said in a statement. “We’ve seen it time and again, that in spite of their condition, many of the homeless downtown still have a sense of pride among them that they are willing to come forward and report crimes. We solve more murders downtown because of it.” Police believe Bishop slashed Burris's throat with a broken bottle and gouged his eyes out so that he would not be identified later. This was the fourth downtown murder in 2009.