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

Share This


LA Times Writer Was 'Sick to My Stomach' After Seeing Fatal Metro Stabbing

Morning Power Outage Affects 12 Red Line Stations
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.

When a man was stabbed recently on the Metro, it so happened that standing five feet away from him was Todd Martens, a music reporter with the LA Times.

Martens has recounted what he saw to numerous media outlets already, including the LA Times. The victim and attacker, he said, were engaged in a shouting match when the victim grabbed a chain and began swinging it over his head. That's when the attacker pulled out a knife and stabbed his adversary, later identified as 59-year-old Jesse Garay of North Hollywood, in the chest.

From there, Garay lay dying as passengers evacuated the train as soon as possible.

So what happens to someone like Martens after they see a murder, and how are the events skewed by reporters? Martens provides more details over at his tumblr, including his ensuing paranoia about having stepped in blood, his nausea, and his belief that two girls who have been widely accused of helping the attacker to flee were "simply trying to keep the assailant from shifting moods, focusing his attention away from what just happened," he writes.

Support for LAist comes from

Here's more from his post:

I have never, at least knowingly, been less than five feet away from someone with the capacity to stab another human being. I was crouching on the seat, and I was getting sick to my stomach. An elderly woman put her hand on my shoulder and said, quietly, ‘Are you ok?’ I said, ‘I think so.’ I knew the skateboarder was armed, dangerous and clearly emotionally unstable. He was now begging passengers to back up what would be his self-defense claim to police. I was trying not to look at him, hoping as long as he was freaking out about his impending capture that he would not do anything rash. This is when two girls - late teens or early 20s - started telling the attacker to “keep it together.” They suggested he change his shirt. The man had a shirt, blue, shrink-wrapped in his bag, and one of the girls said, “You don’t want to be caught in these clothes,” motioning to the shirt he was wearing.

I have been asked by reporters multiple variations of the following question: “So they were advising him to avoid capture?” I do not know.