A father shopping for a last-minute present on Christmas Eve at a California Target store was stabbed in front of his 4-year-old son, a member of his family said Dec. 27.
Tyrone Griffin Jr., 36, of Hayward, reportedly clashed with two suspects inside his neighborhood Target store just before the stabbing, East Bay Times reports.
Police responded to a call to go to the retail store at 8:02 p.m. on Dec. 24 and found Griffin on the floor with at least one stab wound. He was rushed to Eden Hospital in Hayward, where he subsequently died.
Around 8:45 p.m., law enforcement officials arrested two men, Hayward residents Frankie Archuleta, 22, and Jesse Archuleta, 25, about a half-mile north of the Target store. On suspicion of homicide, they were taken to Hayward City Jail.
As of Dec. 27, both men are in Santa Rita Jail and are not allowed to post bail. Frankie Archuleta has an early morning arraignment hearing at Oakland's Wiley W. Manuel courthouse Dec. 29, county documents reveal.
"Who would have ever thought these last-minute gifts would cost him his life?" said Nicole Simmons, Griffin's partner and mother to his four children.
Griffin went to the store to purchase Christmas gifts for his kids, "whom he loved dearly," Simmons said. She said Griffin was fond of Christmas, working hard to get the tree just right, making sure the lights decorating the house were very bright, and that his children had multiple presents.
"Christmas will never be the same for us," Simmon said on Dec. 27.
She said she finally brought it upon herself to inform her two youngest children, ages 4 and 5, that their father passed away. All four of the children, the oldest being 12, can't comprehend what transpired.
"My daughter asked me, 'Mom, is that why you keep crying?'" Simmons said.
A witness of the altercation inside the Target store told the family that a fight broke out when Griffin asked two men who were reportedly playing explicit music loudly on the smart phones to turn down their music. The three individuals, along with Griffin's 4-year-old son, were in the toy section of the store.
During the fight, Griffin was fatally stabbed.
"Basically Tyrone was a real good father. Every time you see him if he wasn't at work, he was with his children," Griffin's mother Yolanda Lindsey said, KGO News reports.
Lindsey is asking the public for donations to help pay for Griffin's funeral.
"My children are fatherless because of a thoughtless act of rage," Simmons wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Something that could have been totally avoided just by walking away."
Simmons is still struggling with accepting what had happened.
"He was my first love, I’ve known him since I was 15," she said. "Now he’s gone."