June 3: Police identified the man slain Friday as Danny Brito, 35, of San Jose.

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SAN JOSE -- An already violent week got bloodier Friday night when a man was fatally stabbed in West San Jose just blocks from the upscale Santana Row entertainment district -- the city's fifth homicide of the week.

In response to the violence, San Jose police announced they were putting dozens of extra officers on the streets this weekend in an effort to curb gang violence, which is suspected but not been officially declared as a cause in at least two of the killings.

But as motives and suspects are still being fleshed out by investigators, police know there isn't time to waste on tamping down potential gang retaliation, given that most of the homicides occurred in areas known for gang activity.

Concerned by the Friday attacks that killed one man and left another in critical condition, acting police Chief Larry Esquivel called an emergency police meeting Saturday to plan how to get a handle on the violence, said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a police spokesman.

"You get another homicide and a shooting that could have very easily been a homicide, it was enough for the chief to call us in," Dwyer said. "He knows we've got two more hot days this weekend. One night is down, and it did not go well, so we're going to do everything we can to make sure the second and third nights go well."


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In the latest homicide, San Jose police were called at 9:55 p.m. Friday to reports of a stabbing in the 2900 block of Magliocco Drive, about a block south of Moorpark Avenue on a busy stretch of Winchester Boulevard that's also home to the famed Winchester Mystery House.

Officers arrived to find a 35-year-old man lying in a carport who was suffering from stab wounds, police said. The victim, whose identity was not immediately released, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Neither suspects nor a motive were immediately known.

The slaying brought the year's homicide tally to 21 and put the city on pace to surpass the 46 tallied in 2012, which was a 20-year high.

The death wasn't the only significant violence reported Friday: A brazen daylight shooting at a bustling East San Jose apartment complex wounded a man. The attack, which detectives are treating as gang-related, was reported about 5 p.m. on Kollmar Drive near Story Road and East Capitol Expressway. The victim, while in critical condition, is expected to survive.

With five homicides in a week, San Jose has seen its worst period since August, when eight homicides were recorded in a span of 11 days, marking one of the
With five homicides in a week, San Jose has seen its worst period since August, when eight homicides were recorded in a span of 11 days, marking one of the bloodiest stretches in the city's history. (Gary Reyes / Mercury News)

Last Sunday, two teens were gunned down near East San Jose's Independence High School and a man who had recently moved to the city from Ohio was shot in South San Jose in a separate incident. Then on Thursday, a man was killed in an early-morning shooting on Audubon Drive in East San Jose. Motives and potential suspects have not been announced in those cases.

With five homicides in a week, the city has seen its worst period since last August, when eight homicides were recorded in a span of 11 days, marking one of the bloodiest stretches in the city's history. Like that time, this week's violence appears to be a series of unrelated incidents, though ideas like potential gang retaliation paired with the summer season -- historically a peak time for violence in the city -- no doubt weighed heavily on police and city leaders when the patrol boost was deployed for this weekend.

The city's faith leaders are calling for a prayer vigil to be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the City Hall Rotunda, with the aim of honoring the victims of violent crime, their families and the city's police and firefighters.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.