81FC04WhV2C3ACDE.lg

(photo by Kevin Herrera)

DOWNTOWN — Homicide detectives Wednesday were investigating the stabbing death of a 27-year-old Laguna Beach man who was killed earlier that day during a party held at an apartment complex in the 400 block of Broadway.

Police identified the suspect as Ryan Taylor Bright, 26, from Santa Monica. He was charged with murder and his bail is $1 million.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office would not release the name of the victim pending notification of next of kin.

This is Santa Monica’s first homicide in 2012, said SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis.

Police responded to a report of a stabbing at 3:25 a.m. at the Archstone Santa Monica apartments, located at the corner of Fourth Street and Broadway across from the Fred Segal clothing store, Lewis said.

When officers arrived at the scene they heard a woman screaming. Officers gained entry to an apartment in the complex and found the victim on the living room floor with multiple stab wounds. The victim was dead when officers arrived.

“It was a party [where] everyone knew each other,” Lewis said. “For reasons unknown it become violent.”

Detectives interviewed several witnesses and closed off the apartment building. Forensics was on scene collecting evidence and taking photos inside and outside of the building.

Ryan Gibbs, a tenant in the building, said he was interviewed by detectives around 7:30 a.m. He said he did not hear any disturbance.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said of the murder. “It’s unsettling. I live here with my baby.”

Over the years, Gibbs said he has seen fist fights in an adjacent alley, but never anything as violent as a homicide.

The Archstone was built in 1931 as the Lido Hotel and was deemed a historic landmark in 2001 by the City Council for its use of Art Deco architecture and storied past, according to a website for the complex.

kevinh@smdp.com