HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- A homicide investigation was underway after an altercation between a taxi driver and a passenger turned deadly at a Hollywood gas station early Sunday.
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Division responded to a call of an altercation at a gas station near Beachwood Drive and Franklin Avenue at about 3:15 a.m.
Authorities found the taxi driver, later identified as Asfawosen Alemseged, unconscious in the parking lot of a 76 gas station.
Alemseged was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died, police said.
Investigators said it appeared Alemseged was first attacked over a fare dispute while he was inside the cab.
"This is probably a fare dispute that escalated into a robbery, into a physical assault, to the victim's death," Lt. John Radtke of the LAPD said.
Detectives said the altercation then continued outside the vehicle.
The suspect was believed to be a passenger who was being dropped off near the gas station.
He was last seen fleeing the scene eastbound on Franklin Avenue, according to Radtke.
The suspect was described as a 35 to 40-year-old man who is about 5-foot-8 inches tall.
Police said he had thick, dark hair and was last seen wearing a long-sleeve blue shirt.
Investigators were checking surveillance video for more information on the crime. Scent dogs were also aiding police in the suspect search.
"What they attempt to do is get a scent from the suspect and then specifically follow that scent wherever it leads them," said Radtke. "It did lead them eastbound on Franklin and into the local community."
In a statement, Yellow Cab said Alemseged worked for the company for 24 years and that he was well known in his native Ethiopian community as a singer, musician, writer and artist.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to contact the LAPD.
The intersection of Beachwood Drive and Franklin Avenue was closed for several hours and has since reopened.
Taxi driver beaten to death by passenger, police say