SJPD Make Arrest in Safeway Stabbing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police have ruled out gang activity as motive for San Jose's 31st homicide of 2012. Police have picked up Michael Howard in connection to the murder.

    Police have arrested a man suspected of fatally stabbing another man in a San Jose Safeway store on Tuesday night.

    Michael Howard, 27, was taken into custody at his San Jose home on Wednesday on suspicion of fatally stabbing 24-year-old Juan Munoz at the Safeway at 3002 Story Road on Tuesday night.

    Firefighters and paramedics responded to reports of a man suffering a medical emergency at the store at 8:37 p.m. on Tuesday. They  found Munoz and determined that he had been stabbed, and called police.

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    Police told NBC Bay Area it was not gang related. Munoz's family told NBC Bay Area they had not heard the name Michael Howard prior to his arrest. They said they think their loved one was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. See family statement below.

    Munoz, a San Jose resident, died at the scene, police said. The death marked the city's 31st homicide of 2012, police said. 

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    So far this year, there have been 32 homicides in San Jose, police said.

    The total went up this week when the April death of a 17-month-old  boy was reclassified as a homicide. The suspect in that case, 38-year-old  Alejandro Benitez, of San Jose, is expected to appear in court to be arraigned on Friday.

    Here's the family statement:

    Juan Miguel Munoz was a loved, son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. He had one more year at SJSU to finish his accounting degree and pursuing his dream of working for the IRS. He was also about to embark in learning the family trade of a/c and appliance repair at San Jose City College. The family would like to express their appreciation for the pouring show of support. The family would also like to make clear that he was a peaceful and loving person! He was a studious young man. He is survived by his father, mother and younger brother. On the home's kitchen counter are cupcakes Juan had made for his co-workers and family. Very recently he had also starting learning about the the Bible through his visits from Jehovah Witnesses.

    Briza Munoz-Luna

     

    Bay City News contributed to this report.