Fight that led to a fatal stabbing at Dave's Hot Chicken ends in an arrest at LAX, police say

Los Angeles, CA - People are silhoutted against the windows at Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. Travel experts say this weekend will produce a surge in air passengers as people head home from their holiday trips. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. A person suspected in a fatal Long Beach stabbing was arrested at the airport Monday morning. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A 29-year-old man was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder a day after police said he fatally stabbed a 20-year-old man at a Dave's Hot Chicken in Long Beach.

Brandon Nguyen of Huntington Beach was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday morning. Police did not say whether he was trying to get on a plane. He is being held without bail, according to jail records.

Early Sunday, a fight broke out between two groups at the restaurant on East 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore neighborhood. Shortly after 1 a.m., the deadly stabbing occurred. Within two minutes, officers arrived; they had been on another call in the area. But the assailant had already fled, according to police.

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A 20-year-old man, identified by his family as Adrian Hernandez, was stabbed in the upper body and was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said.

Authorities have not said what they believe prompted the fight. But Hernandez's godfather, Juan Quintero, told KTLA his godson was standing up for women who were being harassed at the restaurant by a group of men.

"The gentleman that he was ... he defended their honor," Quintero told the station. "He stood up for his friends."

Detectives used security camera footage and help from "business and community partners" to identify Nguyen, police wrote in a news release. After Nguyen's arrest, authorities said they served a search warrant at his home. It is not clear what items were recovered as part of the search.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.