UPDATE: Two men detained in Ontario stabbing death; witness recounts the attack

ONTARIO – Steve R. walked into a murder Sunday afternoon.

He saw and tried to stop an attack outside the Burnt River Farms dispensary in Ontario that killed Jonah Reyes, 25, of Ontario.

Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero said in a press release Sunday evening that the victim was stabbed to death in a gang-related crime.

Dave Goldthorpe, Malheur County district attorney, said Monday morning that Gerardo L. Lopez, 27, and Luis C. Duran, 19, face charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault connected to the stabbing. Both men are Nampa residents, said Goldthorpe.

They were arrested Sunday evening in Idaho and are being held in the Canyon County Jail in Nampa until they can be extradited.

Reyes’ mother, Alicia Reyes, established a gofundme campaign Sunday to cover funeral expenses that in less than 12 hours raised $3,300.

Witnesses told the Enterprise that the dispensary at 1055 N.W. Washington Ave. was busy with an estimated 30 people inside, buying marijuana product or waiting to do so at the time of the attack.

Steve, of Nampa and who asked not to be fully identified, said in an interview that he drove to Ontario Sunday afternoon for what he thought would be a quick trip to the dispensary.

He said he saw the punch and quickly two other attackers joined in as Reyes curled into a fetal position.

“The third guy was kicking him while he was down,” Steve said.

He said when he saw the others join the assault, he thought “this is wrong” and “I started hollering at them pretty aggressively to get their attention.”

He said he didn’t see the stabbing.

He said one of the men was picking up money and store product apparently dropped by Reyes before all three ran to a car parked in the lot.

Steve said the driver yelled at him that he didn’t know the story.

“He said, ‘He’s messing around with my friend’s girl,’” he said.

One witness who said she was waiting in a parked car outside the shop at the time said the victim had just left the store at the time of the attack.

She said she saw the victim, a man who appeared to be in his 20s, on the ground and “I just thought that he was, like, knocked out so I gathered his money and stuff,” the witness said.

She said as she picked up the marijuana and money dropped by the victim, three men in the car yelled taunts – using a phrase typically associated with gang insults – at the victim and drove off. The car had Idaho license plates, she said. She called 911 at 2:33 p.m., she said.

A man helping the victim said he was his brother, the witness said.

As the attackers left, Steve turned his attention to Reyes. He checked his face for an injury after seeing spots of blood on the ground and then discovered the knife wound.

He said he and a woman worked to put pressure on the wound to await medics.

He said Reyes’ mother then arrived.

“I walked up to her and asked if she was his mom. She said she was,” Steve said. “I told her I did what I could.”

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