A man beaten to death in Mandurah on Sunday evening may have been helping a stranger who was under attack.
Major crime squad detectives are investigating whether 28-year-old Tauri Litchfield, who was found critically injured in the carpark of a Pinjarra Road business, was set upon when he tried to stop an assault on a teenage girl.
It is believed the pair did not know each other and the man had been walking alone when he rushed to the girl's aid.
A passerby found Mr Litchfield unconscious with head injuries about 8.20pm and the girl was found 20m away. Paramedics rushed them to hospital but the man later died. Relatives of the 17-year-old injured girl, Deojne Thill, said yesterday she had spinal injuries and possible paralysis on one side of her body.
Deojne's cousin Hayley Sudholz was among those who came across the scene as police tended to the teenager.
"The police were trying to talk to her and we were trying to talk to her but she wasn't making any sense," Ms Sudholz said.
"She was mumbling, she was being sick, she had cuts on her legs.
"She was crying constantly and all she kept saying was her neck was sore."
Ms Sudholz believed her cousin had been alone after leaving a friend's house an hour earlier.
Police did not reveal how many people they thought were responsible for the attacks or whether they found any weapons. They said they had not established if the two attacks were linked.
Forensic officers found an axe handle on the roof of a carport on nearby Boundary Road, but it is not known whether it was used in the attack.
Pinjarra Road, between Boundary Road and Sutton Street, was in lockdown yesterday as police scoured the area for evidence.
Police took security footage from several businesses and it is understood they found some vision of the incident.Mr Litchfield lived just minutes away in Greenfields with his partner, who was too upset to talk yesterday.
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