The man killed in a brawl in the parking lot of a South San Jose bar over the weekend was a member of the Henchmen motorcycle club, with one witness saying he died when a scuffle quickly escalated into a knife fight that spilled outside.
As an investigation continues, family and friends are mourning the death of 28-year-old San Jose native Daniel Marichalar, who was identified by the club president.
"Junior was a standup guy, a hard worker," said "Big" Ed Aki, co-founder and president of the club's San Jose chapter. "He was a guy you would want as a son. A brother to us all."
What is known is that around 1 a.m. Sunday, officers were called to a lot outside the Hideaway Lounge on Monterey Highway near Bernal Road, where they found Marichalar suffering from a stab wound. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. It marked the city's 34th homicide of the year.
"The guys had left another event and were on their way home, and stopped by for a party there," Aki said, adding that he hasn't learned much about the circumstances of the stabbing.
Friends said Marichalar, born and raised in South San Jose, was a mixed-martial arts enthusiast -- both as a spectator and participant -- and for a living took soil samples for a drilling firm. Among club members, he was known by the nickname of "Junior."
A bar patron who declined to be named out of safety concerns recalled hearing yelling and a scuffle within an already loud and crowded bar, and that the conflict swiftly escalated.
"By the time they were told to get out, they already had knives out," the witness said.
Bar security guards expelled the combatants and locked the doors behind them, according to the witness, who noted that the business has surveillance cameras that may have captured portions of the buildup.
Police said a fight involving several people ensued, ending with the stabbing of Marichalar. Officer Albert Morales said by the time officers arrived -- after getting multiple calls about the fight and sightings of firearms -- most of the people had dispersed.
Patrons and potential witnesses were kept on scene until at least 4 a.m. No arrests have been reported and no suspects were identified.
Investigators released no new information Monday, including whether the attack had anything to do with the victim's affiliation with the Henchmen, who align themselves with the Hells Angels. Last year the group filed a complaint with the city's Office of the Independent Police Auditor, alleging the police are unfairly trying to evict them from their clubhouse and profiled them in traffic stops.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.