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Joshua Steven Rodriguez, 18, of La Habra, was fatally stabbed on Nov. 1, but his death was not officially deemed a murder until a massive search warrant sweep Thursday morning led to several arrests.
A fight involving gang members broke out after midnight at a party in the 1000 block of East Francis Avenue in La Habra. Rodriguez, who police do not believe was in a gang, was found stabbed to death just after 12:30 a.m. Two others were sent to the hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening.
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Shortly after the assault, police arrested Jose Nuno, 20, and Rene Antonio Lobos, 15, both of La Habra. Both have now been charged with murder as well as an enhancement for criminal street gang activity, and Lobos will be tried as an adult, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
The investigation prompted search warrants that were carried out at multiple locations from 5 to 11 a.m. Thursday by more than 100 officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals Service and the La Habra, Newport Beach, Placentia and Buena Park police departments.
These resulted in the arrest of a man on suspicion of murder, another for alleged assault with a deadly weapon and 12 men and women on unrelated charges ranging from parole violations to outstanding warrants.
Rodriguez, who had recently graduated from La Vista continuation high school in Fullerton, was reportedly planning to join the military.