A father was brutally murdered on his wedding day and his family says it happened during the reception as he tried to protect his guests.
Joe Melgoza, 30, was celebrating with his new bride Saturday night into Sunday at a backyard wedding reception at her sister's Chino home.
“My brother did not deserve to die like that, he was a good man, he was a solid man,” Andy Velasquez, Melgoza’s brother, says through sobs. He’s surrounded by three more of Melgoza’s siblings.
Local news from across Southern California
Chino police say two brothers identified as Rony and Josue Castañeda Ramirez came to the reception uninvited. They didn't know the groom but lived nearby.
They were asked to leave but came back to the home near Oaks and Chino avenues.
“Those cowards came back with bats. They were in the alley and it was dark… My brother tried to go get them. They pulled him into the house and they killed him,” Velasquez said.
Melgoza was found in the backyard of another home where he died, leaving behind an 11-year-old daughter and his new bride.
Chino police say the two suspects were arrested Sunday.
“I’m so lost without you Joe, I’m so lost,” Velasquez said as he cried into his hands.
Melgoza's mother and siblings say they will now take care of his 11-year-old daughter, who he had full custody of.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Melgoza's funeral costs and to support his daughter. His brothers and sisters are heartbroken, left without the father figure of their family.