READING, Pa. - Reading police have arrested all seven of the alleged gang members wanted in connection with a deadly stabbing over the weekend.
As of Monday morning, the six men and one juvenile allegedly involved in the attack that killed Israel Maisonet early Saturday morning were in custody, investigators said.
They were identified by police as Jefferson Capellan Ofarril, Guillermo Almanza-Gonzalez, Jesus Lopez-Perez, Jesus Quintero, Hector Samot, Luis Antonio Segura Jr. and a 17-year-old whose name has not been released.
According to police, the suspects jumped and attacked Maisonet in the 300 block of South Sixth Street, following an alleged fistfight agreed upon between Maisonet, 23, and one of the gang members.
"There was some type of problem prior to the fight," said Sgt. John Solecki, Reading Police Department "The seven individuals were telling the victim to leave their block and he refused to leave the block."
The fight escalated and one of the suspects stabbed Maisonet in the neck, police said.
"We're still working on identifying who the actual stabber is. The autopsy came back and the cause of death was one stab wound, so we know there was only one individual who stabbed the victim," Solecki said.
Witnesses told 69 News that they are traumatized by the homicide.
"Nobody should die like that. We're all human beings. There's no reason for anyone to die like that. A painful, suffered death," said Nilda Sanchez. "Every time I look over [at the scene] I see him laying there, that has me terrified."
"They took somebody's life, that I loved, and it hurts. That really hurts," said Khristopher Reyes, who told 69 News that Maisonet and the suspects are all friends of his. "It hurts to see how vicious my friends can be."
According to police, Maisonet was not a gang member.
"This kid walked around with his eyes glistening because, oh my goodness, he loved life. I've never been around someone so positive. Never. Never in my life," said Reyes.
Reyes and other friends told 69 News that Maisonet had been working two jobs while studying to earn a degree in business.
"You don't find a lot of people like that out here," said Reyes. "He wanted life. That's all he wanted, and they stripped that from him."
Officials said all seven suspects are currently charged with simple assault, aggravated assault and conspiracy. Police said that each suspect could face homicide charges.
Allentown, PA 18102