Hayward police investigate fatal stabbing inside Target store, 2 arrested

- Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that took place inside a Hayward Target store on Christmas Eve, according to police.

On Saturday at 8:26 p.m., officers received a report of a stabbing inside the Target located at 2499 Whipple Road, police said.

Inside, officers found a 36-year-old man suffering from stab wounds. He was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he later died from his injuries, according to police.

Witnesses at the store told officers the suspects and the victim had gotten into an altercation prior to the stabbing.

Shortly afterward, officers located and arrested two suspects in connection with the stabbing. The pair, described as two Hayward men in their 20s, was arrested on suspicion of homicide and booked into the Hayward jail, police said.

Police have not released the name of the victim or the suspects. Hayward police declined to go on camera, but told KTVU they don't believe it was a gang-related incident. They also didn't say if the store's surveillance cameras captured the incident. 

The store was said to be filled with holiday shoppers at the time of the incident and was just hours from closing time. 

Shoppers said they were stunned by the violence. 

"I'm shocked. I mean, come here all the time because we don't live that far away and I've never seen anything that concerned me before," said Kelly Guenther. 

"It's sad that, you know, someone would do that. I just can't understand, how humans can take another person's life," said Brenda McCullouch, a shopper. 

"Anytime anything bad happens in you're neighborhood, you're not happy about it, so this is the first I've heard about it, so typically I find this to be a pretty decent neighborhood, but to hear that it's a little shocking," said Ryan Delarosa, a shopper. 

Target has released the following statement regarding the incident: 

"At Target, the safety and security of our guests and team members is a top priority. As soon as we were made aware of the incident, we immediately contacted local law enforcement and closed the store."

The stabbing marks the city's 13th homicide this year.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Hayward police Detective Robert Purnell at (510) 293-7074. 

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