Darrell Fields, a blues guitarist and longtime resident of downtown L.A.’s Skid Row neighborhood, died in the hospital on Tuesday morning after his tent was set on fire. A police officer told the L.A. Times that Fields was engulfed in flames when officers discovered him walking near the the intersection of San Pedro and Sixth streets.
According to a Facebook post by local activist Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, 62-year-old Fields was “working on numerous projects to elevate the healing power of arts and culture in Skid Row” despite being unhoused.
Jonathan Early, 38, is accused of setting Fields’s tent on fire, and has been charged with murder. The crime is being investigated by both the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division and the Los Angeles Fire Department’s arson unit. A motive hasn’t been announced as yet.
Join us tonight as we celebrate the life and art of Darrell Fields. Wear something purple and bring a music maker. #LetsGetFree
According to White, the community with gather at 838 E. 6th Street at 6 this evening to celebrate the “life, mastery, and artistic vision” Fields. Attendees are encouraged to wear purple and bring an instrument to play.
Earlier this month, another unhoused man, Gustavo Zeledon, was beaten to death with a pipe not far from the location where Fields was attacked. As of Monday, police were searching for a third suspect in the attack.