A man accused of stabbing a 21-year-old repeatedly in a Santa Rosa theater earlier this week made his first court appearance Friday.
Police are also investigating the 23-year-old suspect’s possible connection to a fatal stabbing, two days prior.
Family members of both victims hugged at Sonoma County Superior Court Friday and Delonte Hart’s appearance in the room sparked a lot of mixed emotions.
Hart is accused of stabbing Adam Lucero in the neck and chest while the recent college graduate watched movie at the Roxy Stadium 14 in Santa Rosa on Wednesday.
The victim’s brother, Brandon Lucero, said Adam Lucero moved to the area after landing a job in San Francisco. On Friday, Adam Lucero's family said he has undergone a 6-hour surgery and is said to be in stable condition.
“He’s just a loving person and an amazing brother,” Brandon Lucero said.
Police are also investigating if Hart is connected to the murder of Cirak Tesfazgi, a homeless man stabbed 50 times while he slept near the same theater on Monday. Both stabbings were unprovoked and involved a similar knife, they said.
Although Adam Lucero is expected to remain in intensive care for another 10 days and make a full recovery, Brandon Lucero said, “There's not really a ton of happiness. It's kind of a neutral feeling. It's kind of like, ‘OK, we can relax now.’”
The same can't be said for Tesfazgi. While police look for a possible link, the victim’s cousin sees similarities between the two attacks.
“The randomness just makes me feel more confident that there's a connection because like I said, 'Who would want to kill him?'” Johanna Hezchias said.
Hart's charges include attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He's due back in court July 8.
GoFundMe accounts have been created for both Adam Lucero and Cirak Tesfazgi. As of Friday evening, 235 people have raised $17,585 of a $75,000 goal for Lucero, and 188 people have contributed $7,481 of $20,000, which are to be used for Tesfazgi's funeral expenses.