General Crime

* Joseph Cotta Stabbed to Death and Fernando Hernandez Shot to Death in San Jose

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UPDATE May 10, 2012 suspects have been arrested and are currently in custody. Salt Lake City (Utah) officers located and arrested the suspects in the late afternoon on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012. San Jose Police Homicide Detectives responded to Salt Lake City to interview the suspects. The suspects will be returned to California pursuant to an extradition process.

Police have released the names of a man who was stabbed to death in San Jose early Friday morning and a teenager who was fatally shot on the campus of a local elementary school the next day. In the Friday stabbing, Joseph Cotta, 51, was found suffering from multiple stab wounds at about 1:45 a.m. outside a home in the 200 block of Cleveland Avenue. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The stabbing was reported by a resident, who cooperated with arriving officers.

However, another resident refused to cooperate, locking himself in the home and prompting a tense standoff after officers concluded that there were weapons in the house, according to police. The San Jose police SWAT team responded, and the home was surrounded for hours until the suspect surrendered to police at around 11 a.m. That suspect and several other residents of the home were briefly detained then released. Investigators are seeking two transient brothers who they believe were involved in the stabbing and fled before police arrived. Jonathan Alexander Bess, 20, and Brian James Bess, 23, are wanted on suspicion of murder and remain at large, police said.

On   Saturday, a shooting on the campus of Lowell Elementary School claimed the life of 18-year-old Fernando Hernandez, of San Jose, police said. Officers were called to the campus, located at East Reed and South Sixth streets, at about 9:25 p.m. They found Hernandez suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said it appears Hernandez was involved in an altercation with unknown suspects near the campus. As the altercation moved onto the campus, one of the suspects shot Fernandez. No arrests have been made in the case, and police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related. The deaths mark San Jose’s 11th and 12th homicides of the year.

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