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Hollywood job counselor killed; motive unknown

March 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A motive remains unknown a day after a popular counselor at a job training school in Hollywood was stabbed to death.

Dwayne Alexander, 49, was involved in the music industry years ago. According to the website RadioFacts.com, he was a former publicist for Capitol Records. Recording artist Norwood Young says Alexander worked as a vice president at EMI Records, and says he owes his musical success to Alexander.

"He also was a giver. He gave up the music thing because he wanted to go back to what his original thing was, which was writing. So he began writing screenplays and plays and got into the film industry," Young said.

But to pay the bills, Alexander worked at Job Corps mentoring young people, Young said.

Police say Alexander was attacked by a student at the Job Corps facility in the 1200 block of Lodi Place on Wednesday. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was declared dead.

The suspect, 22-year-old Freddy Leyva, was being held down by three other students when officers arrived. LAPD Det. John Skaggs said the attack happened in an office, but the motive was still being investigated.

Leyva was a resident receiving job training at the facility. He was taken into custody and booked for murder.

"I guess he was being a little nasty, a little weird lately. I don't really know why he would snap," said Alex Osuna, a former Job Corps student.

Alexander is being remembered by friends and former students, who said he was always willing to help others

"He got me into my room immediately and he showed me how to do everything here," said Jonathan Whitney, a former student at the center. "I never had a problem."

The Los Angeles Job Corps Center is a government-sponsored program designed for young people. It provides academic support, vocational training and a place to live at no cost to students. The Hollywood location, known as Studio Club, is the honors dorm.

The Department of Labor said in a statement, "We are all saddened by what happened. Mr. Alexander was a valued staff member at the center."

Anyone with information is urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7.


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