An off-duty security guard stabbed to death near a bar in downtown San Jose early Wednesday has been identified as 26-year-old Ryan Viri, according to San Jose police. Police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said that a suspect has been arrested in connection with Viri’s death, but police are not yet releasing the person’s name. San Jose police officers responded to a call at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday about a stabbing in the area of Santa Clara and First streets and found Viri mortally wounded with least one stab wound.
He died a short time later at a hospital, becoming the sixth homicide victim in San Jose so far in 2014, police said. Viri had been employed as a bouncer at Johnny V’s, a bar at 31 E. Santa Clara St., around the corner from where Viri was stabbed, the bar’s owner Johnny Van Wyk said. On Wednesday morning, Viri was in the bar on his day off when for some reason he decided to pursue a rowdy adult male bar patron who had just been thrown out of the business, said Van Wyk, who was not there at the time.
The male patron, a sous chef for a restaurant in downtown San Jose, had entered the bar earlier carrying a cache of cooking knives wrapped in cloth, Van Wyk said. “It sounds like he got off of work,” Van Wyk said. “When he came in, we held it for him. It was like work equipment.” Johnny V’s is known as an “industry bar” for people in food and beverage service downtown and it is not unusual for cooks to bring in the knives they are required to use at work, Van Wyk said.
A bartender placed the knives behind the bar and kept them there the whole time the cook was in the bar that morning, Van Wyk said. The cook, however, started to become “a little hairy, like hitting on people and it’s not that kind of a bar,” Van Wyk said. “He was kind of a jerk with the women, and after two or three complaints, you gotta go,” Van Wyk said. The bar’s bouncer, who goes by “Lucky,” asked the patron to leave and the cook took back the knife collection and “was OK” but after walking outside, he began yelling swear words at people in the bar, Van Wyk said.
That was when Viri, who had been drinking in the bar, for an unknown reason left to follow the cook who is now suspected of stabbing him to death, the bar owner said. As far as Van Wyk knows, Viri was not acquainted with the suspect, and Viri was not known to carry a weapon, he said. Johnny V’s closed for Viri’s friends and family Wednesday and about 200 people attended a vigil for him where he was stabbed at North First Street, according to Van Wyk. Viri was well known to bar workers and patrons in the downtown area, having previously worked at the Old Wagon Saloon & Grill and the Back Bar downtown, Van Wyk said.
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