Two Men Stabbed, One Dies Near Downtown

The homicide is the first killing of 2012 in Watsonville.

One man died after he and a friend were attacked on Main Street on Saturday night and stabbed in what detectives say was a gang-motivated assault, Watsonville police reported.

No arrests have been made and police have said little about what led up to the violence.

The two men, both 21, had been together earlier in the evening and both were assaulted on the 500 block of Main Street. Just before 10 p.m., people called 911 for help because a man was down in the middle of the road at East Lake Avenue and Brennan Street, police reported.

The man had a stab wound to his upper abdomen, was unconscious and was barely breathing. He was taken to the Watsonville Community Hospital, but died from his injury, police reported.

His name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

Another man was taken to the hospital with a stab wound to his lower torso. He underwent surgery and is listed in stable condition, police reported.

He is not cooperating with the investigation, police said.

The killing is the first homicide of the year in Watsonville. , six of which were gang-related.

In December, a 14-year-old Watsonville High student was fatally shot in a gravel turnout on Hecker Pass. Five young men have been arrested on suspicion of crimes related to the killing of Jesse Lopez. All have pleaded not guilty.

Following the violence Saturday, officers canvassed the crime scenes and talked to witnesses with help from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office and the Santa Cruz County Gang Unit are assisted responded to assist.

Detectives ask that with further information regarding this case contact the WPD Investigation Division at (831) 768-3350 or the Crime Tip Line at (831) 768-3544.

Raquel grajeda April 02, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Those are my friends u are talking about.. Nd because one refuses to talk does not make him a coward only he knowa his situation.. How do u think he feels to knkw that both of them were attacked the other died but he survived?? I will not say names in respect for him and his mother who is suffering dearly to have lost her son... And of coarse we his friends suffer as well to have lost such a dear friend who weve known since childhood!!! I dont excuse his mistakes .. But he payed for them with his life leaving behind a whole amd emptiness in our hearts with great grief and sorrow.. Its easy to critazise until its you who this happens to
Linda Holland April 02, 2012 at 07:50 PM
My heart goes out to his Mom, who is my cousin. This is a sad, senseless act of violence. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Linda Holland in Utah
Raquel grajeda April 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Yen years of knowing him and just like that he was taken from us and u give yourself the luxury to point fingers and judge?? Why dont you try to help out our youth instead and quitt bitching about what you havent done shit to make better either
Jennifer Squires April 02, 2012 at 08:11 PM
This is a sad situation, regardless of the circumstances. Let's leave positive comments and memories of Brandon here: http://watsonville.patch.com/articles/murder-victim-identified
ashley Wright April 03, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I still cant believe he is gone. Brandon and I have known each other for 12 years now. and have been dating on and off. we have made a lot of plans together. and now he is gone. my heart goes out to his family. how i wish it was a dream. but i hope they can find who did this to him to give his parents some piece of mind. Ashley Escobar
randy April 03, 2012 at 12:17 AM
It is sad to lose a son, grandson, nephew, and friend. BUT if is not to be repeated, then someone needs to come forward. Would you want to lose another friend. The police cannot do anything to stop this if all they get is silence.
David H. Perez April 03, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I never knew Brandon, but it sounds like he had a lot of friends and family who loved him very much. As a fellow human being, I am truly sorry about his death. But if we are to prevent this from happening over and over, people like Brandon's friend who was injured and other witnesses and interested parties need to step up and provide information to police. If the perpetrator remains on the street, the next victim might be your son or daughter. I think the anti-police mentality expressed by some of you is very unfortunate. During my lengthy career in criminal justice, I had the opportunity to work with many police departments. I give our police department in Watsonville an "A+", especially considering what they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. And there is nothing positive to be gained by belonging to a gang. If parents cannot provide their children a better opportunity that to join a gang, then they should not be parents.
David H. Perez April 03, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Amen to that, Julia!
pedro vargas April 03, 2012 at 04:33 AM
First of all my prayers go to his mother, i think that she doesn't deserve to lose a son and no one deserves to get killed, but if you think about it when have you seen a teacher stabbed to death? when have you heard of a doctor killed in a shooting? if you join a gang in one way or another something is going to happen to you
Karl Nobel April 03, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Matter of fact I have heard of a Social Worker recently committing suicide by burning his his house down with his two. The mans name was Josh Powell, I think gangs are a product of and a reflection of today's society. Youth gangs exist in the countries even with the most highest living standard. The only reason we don't here about the doctors and teachers involved in shooting scandals is because it does not make as good news as something, and doesn't offer police departmental specific grant funding, furthermore, It is something that strikes the fear in all Americans. Its just like a phobia disorder of spiders or GREAT WHITE SHARKS, being scared of gang members is fueling the mechanism that make gangs thrive, that is basic crime 101. It is pointless to fear a group of misled and underprivileged youth, if people want to make a change they have to with understanding the macro factors of what makes this vicious cycle tick.
Karl Nobel April 03, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Our we judging parents now, wow even after the boy has died. Lets hope they don't read your post. Why wasn't the police presents at the sports bar or at least patrolling, now that would of been a better tactic, if we are talking about prevention or catching a collar? I mean the plaza is practically next to the police station. And explain what WPD have to deal with? That is what they signed up for, let me tell you Watsonville is a very great place to live with a lot of Latino camaraderie, I have worked in places like Monterey County were they just throw there you to the system and sit back and wonder why there community is so bad. I will never give up on people especially youth. The philosophical principles that concludes the perpetrators might kill one of my brothers or sisters has no premise. We are labeling this gang motivated once again WHY? Here are some facts which relate to the realities of why fights escalate. "Just because someone might be in a gang or hang out with gang members does not mean they are actively committing a crime every second of the day: Myths  Most or all gang members are hardened criminals. Gang members spend most of their time plan- ning or committing crimes. Gang members are responsible for the bulk of violent crime. Gangs largely organize and direct the criminal activity of their members. Truths The seriousness and extent of criminal involvement varies greatly among gang members.
Karl Nobel April 03, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Truths Gang members who engage in crime nonetheless spend most of their time in noncriminal pursuits. Gang members account for a small share of all crime (including violent crime), even within communities and neighborhoods where there are gang problems. Much of the crime committed by gang members is self-initiated and is meant to serve personal rather than gang interests. Reference Greene, J., Pranis, K., & Justice Policy Institute. (2007). Gang wars: The failure of enforcement tactics and the need for effective public safety strategies. Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/07-07_REP_GangWars_GC-PS-AC-JJ.pdf
Cathy P. April 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Gang members are cowards.
Cathy P. April 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM
This makes them almost sound like solid pillars of the community (which they are not).
randy April 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
If your son/daughter/grandson/daughter etc was killed and had someone with them that could provide sufficient information to stop the murderer and have him/her arrested, how would you feel if that person SHUT UP and wouldn't say anything. This isn't the first time it has happened. Yes, the witness would be putting his/her life on the line. To stop this you must do your best to provide the best information. How would you feel if you son's murdered went free because his buddy was keeping his mouth shut.? Wondering how Brandon's parents feel knowing their son was murdered in cold blood and the person responsible was out on the streets free to do it to someone else?
Daniel Juarez April 03, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I've known Brandon Since I was kid. We went to Starlight Elementary School together and it was a shock to find out that he was killed. Even though I lost touch with him over the years, its still sad to know that he ain't around anymore.
Cathy P. April 03, 2012 at 05:25 PM
"It is pointless to fear a group of misled and underprivileged youth..." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That's some convoluted logic you've got there but whatever floats your boat.
Martin Enrique Garcia April 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I have to agree that gangs aren't the way to go and I hope that the friend comes around to giving more information to the authorities who we have to trust in order for them to be effective. Lots of police officers, including our chief, are homegrown and truly care about the community. But more than anything, I would like to offer my condolences to Brandon and his family and friends. We can all fixate on could've, would've, should've scenarios but that young man lost his life and that is a tragedy. I actually enjoy the back and forth in which folks argue both sides of the argument, namely structural inequality versus personal responsibility - maybe, that could be a thread of its own
David H. Perez April 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Martin, your opinion is a breath of fresh air, very well put. Your idea for a discussion about structural inequality vs. personal responsibility is a good one.
pedro vargas April 03, 2012 at 11:13 PM
we can do nothing about it it was his choice, he decided to join a gang in my understanding gangs are about violence and drugs. He knew what was he getting into. i also think that he wasn't killed by accident or an misunderstood gangs don't go out just to kill random people. If he was studding or doing homework at his house nothing would of happen to him. the sad part is that he is gone and i cant imagine his moms suffering right now i think young kids should take this as an example and stay out of gangs they should think of their family FIRST and stay out of trouble.
Patricia April 04, 2012 at 12:34 AM
The sad fact is that when kids are killed by gang members, no one talks and they prove uncooperative with law enforcement. The real reason behind that is because the opposing gang will be targeted the next time.It's a 'venganza' situation - the victim's gang will retaliate. It goes back and forth - the gangs will take care of their own business and it goes on and on. It is a sad waste of life to be murdered as they have been. Gangs and friends of gang members do not respect the law and to they will always put themselves in harms way. If you are a gang member you can't expect to live a long and happy life because someone will always be out to get you.
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 01:01 AM
You cant force people to do things or judge their reasoning, that is a society I don't want to live in.
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Those straight direct comments makes me wonder if when people speak on gangs especial Watsonville if their incorporating most are Latino. If so, this would not be committing it would be bigotry. In society we belong to groups, although I understand your perspective not having insight on the cultural competency on the issue I cannot agree. Even the the definition of the word Coward does not match up to the individual's you are talking about:A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things. When you look at the history of where most gangs originated from you find out most of them self organized from acculturation. Many of these group still exists today such as Black Panthers and Brown Berets, but once the assassination of political leaders took place you start to the groups become fracture and disorganized, thus the "Social disorganization theory". The social disorganization began in the 1980's this when we began to see the prison rate in California quadrupling. The word Coward has no premise because we have most unjust and the worst juvenile and criminal system among the modern countries. The lack of opportunity and barbaric "eye for eye" system has taken control of CA state budget and created the larger social problem. Education is a key to solving this problem, but if the people with the answer take an ultra conservative look on gangs or "Latino Gangs" I can only think of one quote from my fellow Latino Emilio Zapata "I rather die on my feet.
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 01:43 AM
once again we their is no proof it was gang motivated, it is sad when people down play a murder and play gangs. Should we blaime Mexico for guns although 90% come from the United States or should we blaime Cuba for the addicts although they live here. Gangs are not the problem let me tell the more you lock up and harass at a younger age the more in influences others to rebel. The way we deal with gangs with is the problem why do you think the problem only gets worse? Sure I dont like gangs either but this is a perfect example of how people overlook disparities. This boy most likey got killed because people like conflict resolution skills it happens all the time in Watsonville, but on a much small scale, but when youth grow up tatics change instead guns are used and knifes. Shaking is a trend which came from the prison culture which influenced the way people use violence. We iniatially are part of the problem because we let the California Department of Corrections and the Justic System create a business cycle of poor misguided youth treated like a revolving door providing other uneducated people with prison guard position. But, lets go ahead and turn a blind eye and just use the logic everybody does. "I was poor I didn't join gangs" "its the parents" "lets just get rid of them" "Cowards" "its sad" "more prison and police" "We care about the community"..
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 01:50 AM
My understanding of the word convoluted means complex, I agree since I work within my community with the same population I must take a educated approach. My Logic unfortunately is the true. As far as logic I use fear when I am about to fall on my face and I catch myself before I hit, thus I rarely fear things. "FEAR IS FOR COWARDS, but I am cautious.
Fedup Citizens April 04, 2012 at 04:09 AM
This is just getting ridiculous! Every week some mother is losing her child to the Wild Wild Streets of Watsonville. How you can you call yourself a friend if you won't even speak up to help identify your "so called friend's" killer who also happens to be the person or persons who stabbed you. Enough of this code of silence and letting the streets handle it. This only causes more violence and more deaths. When it happens to your family I'm sure you'll want somebody to speak up! Whatever happened to settling things with your fists or being a man about your troubles, instead of everyone stabbing & shooting each other over petty nonsense? Lastly, how come law enforcement never has any leads or can solve any of these street crimes? With all the technology available and the serious dollars these detectives make, they always come up with a Big Fat ZERO!! How many more young brothers need to die over stupid, silly stuff?
Michelle Frias April 04, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Facebook © 2012 English (US) · Privacy · Terms · More Michelle Frias 22 hours ago . PLease read:For All Parents I'll lend you for a little time, A child of mine he said. For you to love there as he lives, And mourn when he is dead. It may be six or seven years, Or twenty two or three. But will you, 'til I call him back, Take care of him for me? He'll bring his charms to gladden you, And shall his stay be brief. You'll have his lovely memories, As solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, Since all from earth return. But there are lessons taught down there, I want this child to learn. I've searched the wide world over, In my search for teachers true. And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you. Now will you give him all your love, Nor think the labor vain. Nor hate me when I come to call, To take him back again? I fancied that I heard them say, Dear Lord, thy will be done. For all the joy thy child shall bring, The risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness, We'll love him while we may. And for the happiness we've known, Will ever grateful stay. But shall the angels call for him, Much sooner than we planned. We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, .....And try to understand. To all Parents!!!
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Fedup I agree with you although Watsonville is not wild it is just they publicize an emphasis on gangs for funding. You bring up a great point the incidence of violence is usually not gang related, usually somebody takes offence of somebody's words or messes with someones girl and the prison culture kicks in, which we have the CDC to thank for that. The I can tell you exactly who is selling drugs or involved in crime, why cant the WPD. Especially when you consider you have a gang task force driving around stopping and questioning random kids on the streets that look like gang members just like a military state. Like a police state if anything this is bad kids and the communities perception of themselves. I believe people just don't care, because the same people who write negative things about the Latinos in Watsonville just throw stones. The opposite of coward would to be part of the change and help those in need. Instead people type on their computers and say " people need to be self-sufficient and Independent " for those people I would say move to an Island than. A community is group of people that collaborate in order to maintain a functional society. If you are not part of the solution than you are part of the problem, thus, A TRUE COWARD.
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 07:32 AM
It is true, the city of Watsonville does not have funding to provide its at risk youth with any type of real resources. It is easy to point the finger at south county and say you need to do something, but we do focus resources on the youth who are really at risk like the youth Probation Officer Gina Castaneda work with, not the poor average boy who would never commit a crime in the first place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfuA8tyCbaM
Karl Nobel April 04, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Furthermore, last I heard about of some mother losing her child it was in the Wild Wild Streets of Live Oak. And he was shot. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20112829/sheriffs-department-surveillance-video-shows-live-oak-murder


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