On Friday night, police were called to the scene of a stabbing outside popular Long Beach, California gay bar, the Mineshaft. Two men were attacked, and one has died.
The perpetrator is still at large.
The bar’s co-owner, Jeff Darling, said that around 11:30pm two patrons were standing outside the bar when an unidentified individual rode up on a bicycle. According to witnesses, an argument ensued. The incident escalated with the rider pulling a knife and stabbing both patrons in the chest. The attacker fled the scene.
Police arrived soon after and administered aid. The two victims were taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where one of the men, 28-year-old Christopher Finley of Long Beach, died of his injuries Saturday morning.
Finley was a “semi-frequent” regular at the bar, Darling told the Long Beach Post.
According to Darling, the man on the bicycle never entered the Mineshaft, but the “small argument” out front escalated into a stabbing when the two victims tried to get him to move along.
“After they were stabbed, they ended up in our doorway,” Darling said. “It appears to be a horrible random act.”
Just five minutes before the attack, Darling said, a customer was ejected for brandishing a taser. Police detained the man but did not arrest him.
“The investigation to determine his involvement, if any, is ongoing,” Long Beach Police spokesperson Allison Gallagher said.
According to LBPD, the motive for the stabbings remains under investigation and as such is not currently being investigated as a hate crime.
Darling called the incident a “very traumatic thing” and said he was planning a vigil for Finley and the other stabbing victim. He expressed his condolences and solidarity with the community in a post to Facebook.
“This is such a tragedy and I am deeply saddened by this senseless violence. My heart goes out to the loved ones of the person that lost his life and the family and friends of the person still hospitalized. Love will bring our neighborhood together and not let violence win. We have always wanted the Mineshaft to be a safe place in the community but this serves as a message that tragedy can strike at any time. Make sure to let those around you know that you Love them.”