17-year-old straight-A student fatally stabbed outside El Sereno restaurant

ByDavid González and ABC7.com staff KABC logo
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Teen waiting for mom outside restaurant stabbed to death
A 17-year-old straight-A student was stabbed to death while waiting for his mother outside a restaurant in El Sereno.

EL SERENO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A family and the local community are in mourning after a 17-year-old straight-A student was stabbed to death while waiting for his mother to pick him up from an El Sereno restaurant.

The killing of Xavier Chavarin is believed to be the first of two stabbings committed by the same suspect in the same area hours apart on March 3.

The fatal stabbing occurred Friday just before 4 p.m. on the 4500 block of Valley Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Chavarin was a straight-A student who attended Woodrow Wilson High School and was supposed to graduate in June, his family said.

Chavarin was waiting outside King Torta restaurant waiting for his mother to pick him up. The suspect was seen on surveillance footage emerging from a car that had just driven up, approaching Chavarin on the sidewalk and stabbing him several times in the back with a large knife, police say.

His family said Chavarin later collapsed and died inside the restaurant while trying to get help.

The suspect has been described a 5 foot 1 man with long wavy black hair, a long beard, and dressed in all black clothing. He was the passenger in a dark colored 1996 to 2001 Honda CR-V.

The LAPD released these images of a man suspected in two separate stabbings in El Sereno on March 3, 2023.

Later that day, around 9 p.m. police believe the same suspect stabbed a 33-year-old man just down the road, in the 5400 block of Valley Boulevard. He was wearing similar clothing, except a baseball hat that he had in the earlier stabbing, and was riding a skateboard this time.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said he was shocked by the attack and sent 10 additional counselors to Woodrow Wilson High School to comfort staff and students.

"I'm shocked, as the entire community should be shocked," Carvalho said. "When something goes wrong with a kid like that, the entire community should bow its head and think about what's happening in Los Angeles."

Meanwhile, a memorial has since been set up at the site of the stabbing filled with flowers and messages for the family.

"He was very happy. He would like to make other people laugh. He was always a joyful kid you know," said a friend of Chavarin. "If you've seen something ... honestly, he was an innocent kid. He was stabbed in the back."

The friend said he's simply trying to wrap his head around the tragedy.

"I'm trying to stay sane right now," he said. "So many emotions going through me. I'm trying to hang in, stay in one piece and not fall apart."

Rosario Chavarin, Xavier's aunt said, "We ask parents now to protect their children so the same thing that happened to us doesn't happen to them."

Some of Chavarin's classmates said he was looking forward to going to college so it will be hard not to see him achieve his goals.

"This pain ... there are just no words," said the grieving aunt.

Chavarin's family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for his funeral and memorial services.

City News Service contributed to this report.