One man was stabbed to death Monday evening in the outdoor seating area of a Burger King in Escondido, police said. Both the suspect and victim, who police said are "local transients," were identified Wednesday.
The stabbing happened just before 6:30 p.m. at the restaurant on W. Valley Parkway in perfect view of at least three people filling up their cars at a neighboring gas station.
The victim, 32-year-old Jose De Jesus Martinez from Escondido, was stabbed to death. He was taken to Palomar Medical Center where he later died from his neck wound.
Escondido Police identified and arrested John Christopher Burns, 47, of Escondido as the suspect. San Diego Sheriff's deputies located Burns at Pala Casino after responding to the casino for an unrelated matter. Burns was booked into Vista Detention Center for murder, police said.
Police said the two may have been arguing over a bicycle just prior to the stabbing, but the argument's role in the stabbing is still being determined.
Surveillance video shows two men engaged in a short conversation before one of them makes a slashing motion with his arm stabbing the other in the neck, according to Escondido Police Department investigators.
Though the stabbing was captured on camera, the footage does not explain what the relationship was between the victim and suspect, nor the motive for the attack. Police were still investigating.
The clerk at the nearby gas station said three of his customers in two separate cars sprinted to help the bleeding man.
“We are aware of the tragic incident that took place at an Escondido, California Burger King restaurant yesterday evening," a Burger King spokesperson said. "The safety of our guests, employees and franchisees is our top priority and we are cooperating with local authorities on this matter. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victim and family.”