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Just hours after Joe Melgoza, 30, tied the knot, police said two men attacked him during a reception at his sister-in-law’s house. Police responded at around 2:20 a.m. to a reported fight at the Chino home. They discovered an injured Melgoza in a nearby backyard after searching the surrounding neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Brothers Rony Castaneda Ramirez, 28, and Josue Castaneda Ramirez, 19, were arrested, and are being held without bail. They are expected in court on Tuesday. Police are detaining them on suspicion of murder, but the two haven’t been formally charged.
While it’s unclear how exactly Chino police linked them to the attack, Sgt. Dustin Tomicic said they weren’t invited to Melgoza’s wedding. They lived near the bride’s sister’s house, where the reception took place, KNBC reported.
Melgoza was trying to protect guests from the wedding crashers, who allegedly brought bats to the scene. “Those cowards came back with bats. They were in the alley and it was dark… My brother tried to go get them. They pulled him into the house and they killed him,” said Andy Velasquez, Melgoza’s brother.
Two people, including Melgoza, were injured in the attack.
Family members and friends reportedly created a GoFundMe page to pay for Melgoza’s funeral expenses.
“He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way. He leaves behind his daughter Lilly who will be in good hands with Joe’s family,” the page read.
“We are asking for your support in this time for Joe’s services and for his little girl Lilly. Isela, Joe’s mom is devastated, heartbroken and is having a hard time processing it all. The two criminals that did this horrible act have been arrested and are in custody. Justice will be served!!! Please keep the family in your prayers and every little bit helps with donations.”