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Body found with arrow in chest

Lancaster man, 62, was found lying dead in the street early Tuesday.

March 12, 2008|Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Ann M. Simmons | Times Staff Writers

A Lancaster man was found dead early Tuesday morning on a city street with an arrow piercing his chest, authorities said.

Passersby spotted the body of Angel Martinez, 62, about 1:45 a.m. and called for help, telling Los Angeles County sheriff's officials they believed a pedestrian had been struck by a car.

Authorities who went to the scene at East 13th Street and East Avenue K in Lancaster instead found the man dead with an arrow in his chest, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Maribel Rizo. There was no evidence of a traffic collision, Rizo added.

Authorities had said they believed the dead man was a transient, but later they said he had a residence in Lancaster. Martinez's death is being investigated as a homicide, said Deputy Oscar Butao.

Residents of Lincoln Avenue, near where the body was found, awoke as police blocked East 13th Street and knocked on doors to ask questions. Neighbors said the violent attack seemed improbable in their quiet area.

Tony Martinez, 31, walked outside early this morning and looked around, expecting to see a car crash. Instead, he saw the man's body. "I've never heard of anything like that happening before," said Martinez, a photographer unrelated to the victim who has lived in the area for two years.

"Who would want to do something like that to an elderly person?" Martinez said. "And what was an elderly man doing out here anyway that late?"

Neighbor Billy Rowles, 20, said he was most shocked by the weapon used.

"You'd never think they would use a crossbow in this day and age," Rowles said. "It's almost like Robin Hood or something."

The Sheriff's Department did not comment on whether the arrow had been fired from a cross-bow or a bow.

Investigators are seeking information and may be reached at (323) 890-5500.

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molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

ann.simmons@latimes.com

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