Man Fatally Stabbed in Random Attack on Los Angeles Subway

A 66-year-old woman fatally stabbed on a Los Angeles subway train, highlighting safety concerns and the need for improved protection for passengers on the metro system.

Emmanuel Abara Benson
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Man Fatally Stabbed in Random Attack on Los Angeles Subway

Man Fatally Stabbed in Random Attack on Los Angeles Subway

A 66-year-old woman was fatally stabbed in the throat in an apparently unprovoked attack on a Los Angeles subway train early Monday morning. The victim, identified as Mirna Soza Arauz, a mother of three and grandmother of four, was on a downtown-bound Metro B (Red) Line train when she was attacked by a man wielding a knife.

According to police, the suspect, 45-year-old Elliot Tramel Nowden, suddenly slashed Arauz's throat as the train pulled into the Universal City Station in Studio City around 5 a.m. Arauz managed to exit the train onto the platform, where she was found mortally wounded. She was rushed to a nearby hospital but later died from her injuries.

Nowden fled the scene after the attack but was arrested by police about 30 minutes later near Ventura Boulevard and Vineland Avenue, based on eyewitness accounts and other evidence. He was booked on suspicion of murder and is being held on $2 million bail. Investigators believe there may be additional, unreported victims of Nowden, and they are urging anyone who believes they were targeted by him to come forward.

Why this matters: The fatal stabbing highlights the growing concerns over safety on the Los Angeles Metro system, which has seen an increase in violent crimes in recent years. The incident also raises questions about the effectiveness of security measures and the need for improved protection for passengers.

The attack occurred on Earth Day, when metro trains and buses in Los Angeles are free of charge, leading to higher ridership. Homicides on LA subway trains have increased from none in 2019 to six last year, even as overall ridership is still recovering from pandemic lows.

Arauz, a security guard originally from Nicaragua, had been living in Los Angeles for five years, working night shifts and sending money back home to her family. "She was the one who supported the whole family," her son, Mario Soza, said in an interview. "We depended on her." The family has set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses and transport Arauz's remains to Nicaragua.

The Los Angeles Police Department has increased its presence and security measures at the Universal City Station in response to the incident. As the investigation progresses, authorities are examining surveillance footage and interviewing witnesses to piece together the circumstances surrounding the unprovoked attack that claimed the life of Mirna Soza Arauz.

Key Takeaways

  • 66-year-old Mirna Soza Arauz fatally stabbed on LA subway train
  • Suspect Elliot Tramel Nowden, 45, arrested 30 mins later
  • Incident highlights safety concerns on LA Metro system
  • Homicides on LA subway trains increased from 0 in 2019 to 6 in 2023
  • Arauz was a security guard supporting her family in Nicaragua