Photo: Michael A. Mendozaroche
SAN LEANDRO — Investigators gathered witness statements and checked surveillance cameras to identify and arrest two men believed responsible for a pair of downtown stabbings within 12 hours.
25-year-old Michael K. Smith was stabbed to death on June 19. The other victim, a 36-year-old man who worked with Smith, was critically injured by stab wounds and transported to a local hospital.
The stabbings occurred at night near 1499 Washington Avenue at Washington Plaza. This was after shops and most eateries at the open-air mall had closed.
Investigators learned that two suspects walked to a parking lot after leaving a restaurant at closing time. The suspects and stabbing victims got into a heated argument in the parking lot that escalated to a violent fight.
When it was all over, witnesses told police they saw the stabbing victims, left bloodied on the ground. Two men allegedly stabbed both victims several times and fled before police arrived.
Several witnesses in the area saw various aspects of the confrontation. Along with video surveillance recordings, this helped wrap up the investigation quickly. Consequently, authorities recovered the suspected murder weapon and took the two suspects into custody within 12 hours of the crime.
Both suspects face charges for murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. They’re in custody at Santa Rita Jail and scheduled to appear at a plea hearing on June 28. Bond was denied.