A story for every victim

James Richard Kagaoan Rey, 36

James Richard Kagaoan Rey, a 36-year-old Filipino man, died Tuesday, June 19, after he was stabbed inside a restaurant at 545 North Victory Blvd. in Burbank, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Rey, also known as James Rey Richard Kagaoan, walked into a crowded Burger King restaurant around 11 a.m. and began assaulting a 73-year-old man who was having coffee with two friends, said Sgt. Derek Green, Burbank Police spokesman. 

"Some witnesses said he [Rey] was yelling things, but nobody could understand what he was saying," Green said. "He immediately approached the victim and began stabbing him with a fixed-blade knife. It appears to be a completely random act."

That's when a bystander, identified only as an African American man, "basically engaged in a fight with the suspect, trying to disarm him of his knife," Green said. 

The victim's companions, Paul Liotopoulis and James Kevios, told NBC4 News that the three friends were having their daily coffee at the restaurant when Rey began his attack.  

"He was crazy, yelling, screaming," Liotopoulis said. 

"I didn't know he had a knife. I thought he was hitting him," Kevios said. "Then some guy — thank God he was here — some African American, he was strong enough to hold the guy down. Otherwise he was going to kill everybody here. You have no idea. That guy [Rey] was going nuts."

Their friend, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital with cuts around his face, Green said, and is expected to survive. 

During the struggle with the bystander, Rey "sustained multiple knife lacerations," Green said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m., according to coroner's records. 

Investigators have not identified the man who restrained Rey, who was treated for minor injuries at the scene and has refused dozens of interview requests, Green said. 

"He wants to remain anonymous, but he's also been advised by the D.A.'s office and our investigators not to come forward at this time because the investigation is still active," Green said. 

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office will determine whether charges should be filed in Rey's death, Green said. 

Rey had been living on the street in Burbank for some time, Green said. He had a prior run-in with Burbank police this year, for a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge.

Investigators said his last known address was in Sun Valley. The coroner's office listed him as homeless. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Burbank Police investigators at (818) 238-3210. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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