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Derick Thornton, 52 [Updated]

Derick Thornton, a 52-year-old black man, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 12 days after he was assaulted in the 500 block of South San Pedro Street in downtown, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Ed Winter, spokesman for the coroner's office, said Thornton was beaten Dec. 21 about 6:30 a.m.

He was taken to County-USC Medical Center where he remained until his death Jan. 2 at 4:19 p.m.

Preliminary coroner's records indicate Thornton had a subdural hematoma, or traumatic brain injury. As of Wednesday, an autopsy had not been completed.

The coroner's office had no other information about the incident and a police agency has yet to be assigned to the case. Winter said the death investigation is ongoing.

The Times will follow up on the case and provide more details as soon as they become available.

[Update Feb. 1: LAPD Central Det. R. Nelson said Thornton got into a physical altercation at the Union Rescue Mission.

During the fight, he suffered a head injury and never regained consciousness, Nelson said.

Nelson said authorities do not know what started the fight, nor do they have a description of the assailant.

The investigation is ongoing, Nelson said, and detectives are asking for witnesses to the fight to come forward. 

Coroner’s officials said Tuesday a cause of death has been deferred pending additional lab tests. Results will be available in several weeks.

Anyone with information about the death of Derick Thornton is asked to contact Det. A. Marengo or S. Ortiz at (213) 972-1249. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.]

-- Sarah Ardalani

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