Woman Stabbed to Death in Los Angeles After Photographing Panhandlers


A young woman was fatally stabbed last night after photographing homeless men holding offensive signs while begging in Hollywood.

The Los Angeles Times reports that 23-year-old Christina Calderon of Lynwood, California was walking with her friend at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue at 8pm last night when they noticed the three men begging for money with signs laden with obscenities.

After pulling out her cell phone and snapping a photograph of the transients, the men began demanding money in exchange for the photos. When the two women refused to hand over money, they were attacked, and Calderon was stabbed in the torso. She was taken to a local hospital, where she later died of her injuries during surgery.

The place where the attack took place is an area that’s bustling with tourists. Attractions there include Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Capturing images of homelessness is quite a fad in the world of photography, but this story is a stark reminder that one must exercise discretion and caution when taking pictures of random strangers on the street.

(via Los Angeles Times via POTB)

Update on 6/20/13: LAist has published a photo taken by someone who claims to have witnessed the attack. The photo allegedly shows the attackers and their sign.

Image credit: IMGP0028.JPG by fredcamino

  • Jackson Cheese

    You would be the worlds worst photojournalist.

  • Mantis

    I like how you say she “deserved to get stabbed to death” because she’s heartless. No irony in that statement. Nope, not at all.

  • Mantis

    Kill one to warn the rest. That’s textbook tyrannical thinking.

    I’m actually quite disgusted that I share this website with absolute pieces of human garbage like you.

  • lidocaineus

    And the photo loses all sense of place and context since telephotos really flatten a scene out.

  • stifledgenius

    Don’t feed the troll.

  • Jackson Cheese

    Please explain how having a concealed weapon would prevent your death from a knife wielding maniac at close range.

    Spoiler alert: It won’t.

    Now go look up what law enforcement people refer to as “The 21 foot rule”.

  • A.J.

    So you can get stabbed to death while trying to reach for your gun?

    In a close range situation, the guy with the knife always has the advantage over the guy with the gun. Police call it the “21 Foot Rule”.

  • TSY87

    I don’t like how you are dealing in absolutes. She was with a friend, if her and her friend were carrying this *COULD* have ended differently. I am in no way saying having a gun would have prevented her death, but at least it would be an option.

    Also, the 21 foot rule is not a guarantee. Your logic is that if an attacker is within 21 feet with an edged weapon, you just give up and let them have their way. Seriously?

    So could having a gun on her person have prevented getting fatally stabbed?

    Spoiler alert: MAYBE.

    I’m not advocating everyone carry a gun, it’s a personal choice and not legal in all counties/states but at least realize that police are not here to protect you.

    I realize my stance is not a very popular one on here but I hope some people think about their personal safety beyond reaching for a phone and calling 911.

  • Mantis

    Those ads are auto generated. Nobody specifically chose to put it in front of this story.

  • Faith Walk

    If they don’t want their pictures taken they can do like Michael Jackson used to do to his kids . . . cover their faces up. Anyone who doesn’t have their face covered can have their picture taken. I was visiting Los Angeles last week and while on Venice Beach people wanted us to pay for taking pictures of their displays that were on the public sidewalk in public view. Really? Of course, I didn’t pay, but then again I didn’t take their pictures either.
    I took pictures of the homeless a few months ago not for financial gain, but to put on our church’s FB page so that we could show how were provide a service to the community. Many did not want their pictures taken and I respected that and didn’t take their pictures.

  • neatjunk

    She did not deserve to be stabbed but she also should have gone about taking the photos differently. I have been taking photos of homeless guys in Miami for the last 7 years and I dont take a photo of them untill I have spoken to them a couple of times, given them some money, or bought them a slice of pizza from 7-11 and I always ask first. Once again, I can not stress enough that she did not deserve this but common sense should tell you these guys are homeless because of mental illness or drugs/alcohol issues and usually a combination of both.

  • neatjunk

    I always ask if they would like a copy of the photo and more often than not they do. I run over to CVS and make a print from the Kodak Kiosk.

  • zaakir

    Hed have to still pull that knife. Id rather have a fighting chance with my pistol than to just stand there and be stabbed. I know all about the 21 ft rule as a firearms instructor.

  • zaakir

    you have no way of knowing who is a threat and who isnt.

  • tsuttle

    After doing street photography for a few years I can say that I’m able to gauge who to, and who not to approach. At the end of the day you’re never going to be 100% safe, but you can minimize that risk by observation.

    I haven’t yet been not able to deal with a situation. Sure, I get yelled at, and even threatened but my risk is minimal. As suggested above, I use situational awareness to determine if I should or shouldn’t continue. If the situation did arise, I can look after myself, but why would I put myself in a situation that is more than likely going to go off? Would I walk down a dark alley which is know to have violent transients? No. Even though I would be able to deal with the situation, I would never directly put myself in harms way.

  • Whisper Love Gray

    Unfortunately, this person didn’t have your experience. She didn’t just take the picture and walk away either.. she got herself into an argument about him being paid for said picture.. I feel sorry for her, yes, however its one of those ‘shoulda known better’ situations.

  • Whisper Love Gray

    The woman not only got in this guys face and took a picture ( she interacted with him), but got into an argument with him over money.. she should have just given him a freaking buck and went on her way.. but NOOO .. She didn’t want to give him anything when she took something OF him. Should she have been stabbed over it ? NO WAY.. but this is a criminal crazy guy standing on a street corner.. doing what they do.. As a woman with children, I don’t even make eye contact with these people.. I have my own kids to worry about, where I live there is homeless support… If you think the homeless are so innocent why not hang out with a few.. the issue is that she thought it was OK to interact with people on a ‘equal’ level.. not considering that they might be dangerous.. what ever happened to teaching kids stranger danger ? I mean, gasp, not everyone will be happy to have their picture taken… and gasp.. not everyone is sane or a good person even.

  • Pablo

    They sound like mental patients.

  • tsuttle

    So you’re telling me that its difficult to spot a potential threat? It’s not that hard. For example, its late at night and you’re walking home from being out. You see three teenagers hanging out on the corner of the street. You think to yourself, this could trouble. You know that you have to go past them to get home, but you can also take another route. What would you do then? ignore them, or think to yourself, hey, maybe it might be better to cross the road, or head another way.

    And yes, you will never be 100% sure, but using commonsense (like listed above) will reduce your risk.

  • tsuttle

    Is that you Eric Kim?

  • businessinarea

    the person responsible for this murder was a volunteer with the greater west hollywood food coalition run by ted landreth .

  • prometheus complex

    I would pretend to care, but she decided to do two things no other idiot on earth would do:
    1.) Instigate
    2.) Refuse to give over money or her stupid camera to save her life
    The World’s a harsh place, and the stupid will always die before their time.
    A Camera or a dollar is nothing to die over.
    But then again, this is America where 99% of the people believe they’re living in a television show and that reality has zero consequences.
    *Shakes head*