Crime and Safety

56-year-old Long Beach man accused of stabbing death victim in front of a local business over the weekend was arrested

LONG BEACH, California — On September 12, officers from the Special Investigations Division of the Long Beach Police Department apprehended a Long Beach man who was wanted for a homicide that occurred outside of a business over the weekend.

On September 10, Homicide Detectives were dispatched to the scene of an investigation after receiving word that Christopher Finley had been stabbed to death. Michael Smalls, age 56, was recognized as a possible offender thanks to the aid of the patrol officers.

The investigation has shown that the police believe the murder was the result of two fights. The victim or victims were involved in a battle with a man who was armed with a “taser” during the first confrontation, which took place in front of a place of business. After a few moments, a second dispute took place in which Smalls got into a physical struggle with the two victims, and as the battle grew out of hand, Smalls stabbed both of the victims. Following that, Smalls rode away on a bicycle. The man who was armed with a taser was placed under arrest for a separate offense while he was still at the site.

Smalls was arrested and placed into the Long Beach City Jail on one count of murder as well as one count of attempted murder. His bail was set at $2,000,000 and he is presently being held there. This week, investigators will send the case to the office of the District Attorney in Los Angeles for consideration of pressing charges. The investigation is attempting to determine the motivation. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that this act was motivated by bias or hatred.

Homicide Detective Michael Hubbard and Jesus Espinoza request that anybody who may have information on the incident call them at (562) 570-7244. You can provide anonymous tips to “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the “P3 Tips” app to your smartphone (which is available in the Apple app store or Google Play), or visiting The “P3 Tips” app can be downloaded for free at the Apple app store or Google Play.

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