A 23-year-old visitor from the East Coast had just gotten money from an ATM when he told his friend on a cell phone that he had a bad feeling about two men approaching him at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland.
His worst fears were realized when one suspect, Victor Veliz, 18, held a folding knife with a 5-inch blade to his neck and the other, Christopher Gonzalez, 18, threatened to shoot him Thursday night, authorities said.
In a blind panic, he lashed out at his attackers, grabbing the knife from one of them and punching the other as his friend listened in horror on the phone.
Without realizing it, authorities say, the man stabbed Gonzalez in the chest.
Gonzalez stumbled to his family's home around the corner, collapsed into his father's arms and died.
Veliz, who is affiliated with a gang, was arrested at Gonzalez's home after police allegedly found him with the East Coast visitor's cell phone. He will be charged with murder in the death of his accomplice
, along with a robbery count, prosecutors said.
The robbery victim suffered only cuts in fighting off his assailants. He ran from the station, flagged down an Oakland police officer on Fruitvale Avenue and turned over the bloody knife. His name was not released.
The man was "scared senseless" when he was attacked about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, said Allison Danzig, an Alameda County deputy district attorney. He acted in self-defense and will not be charged, she said.
When police told him that Gonzalez had died, "he was very saddened and very upset," Danzig said.
Gonzalez's father, Javier Gonzalez, said Friday that his son had cried out for his parents and sister when he burst into his home on San Leandro Street. He died there.
Javier Gonzalez sobbed at the loss of his son, who worked with him in his roofing business and at Oakland Raiders games.
"I'm angry at both of them," he said of the robbery victim and Veliz. "They took my son away from me. He was a hard-working kid."
He added, "My son is dead. I want somebody to pay for this."