SAN JOSE -- A man was stabbed to death in a group brawl that erupted downtown early Tuesday just footsteps away from Plaza de César Chávez park and the Tech Museum of Innovation, marking the city's second killing in less than 12 hours, authorities said.
The stabbing occurred about 2:15 a.m. when a witness reported a group of five to six people were beating a man near Market Street and Park Avenue, according to the San Jose Police Department.
Officers arrived to find a gravely injured victim with stab wounds, who was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. His identity was not immediately released pending notification of his relatives.
Because of the high-profile location in the heart of downtown San Jose, investigators are expected to cull surveillance video from nearby businesses, police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said.
"Like in any homicide case, we will conduct a thorough and complete investigation," Morales said.
No suspects have been identified, but police are interviewing someone who appears to have witnessed the violence, which left few traces behind beyond a backpack left lying on the ground. Citing the witness account, police were unusually quick to rule out the likelihood of gang motives when they first announced the homicide early Tuesday.
It appears that the victim and a group of people may have been drinking in the park before the attack, police said. Their connections to the area were not immediately clear.
The crime scene prompted the morning closure of Market Street while investigators examined evidence. By 8 a.m. Tuesday, the streets were reopened, though Plaza de César Chávez remained cordoned off.
The slaying marked the city's 22nd homicide of 2014 -- there were 29 at this point last year -- and the fourth recorded downtown, all of them stabbings. One of those cases was later deemed by the District Attorney's Office to be an instance of self-defense.
It also came on the heels of a deadly shooting reported about 3:40 p.m. Monday in the 200 block of Gramercy Place in East San Jose after a man was found suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He died at the hospital, and police canvassed the area for suspects, to no avail. The shooting occurred in one of the city's known "hot spots" for gang violence, but a motive has not been announced.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.