Late on Friday night, two men were stabbed outside popular local gay bar Mineshaft in Long Beach, California. The victims were taken to the hospital and the attacker fled the scene.
Hours later, Christopher Finley, a 28-year-year old Long Beach resident, succumbed to his injuries from the stabbing. Finley was a makeup artist who was born and raised in Southern California.
The other victim, Jake Stone, is Finley’s partner. He is recovering and was released from the hospital on Sunday.
According to the Long Beach Post, the couple had been involved in a separate altercation with an individual who was armed with a taser just minutes before the stabbing outside Mineshaft at 1720 E. Broadway. No one was hurt in the scuffle and the person with the taser was later arrested on an unrelated charge.
Minutes after this encounter, the second fight broke out which involved the couple and a man riding a bike outside Mineshaft. That is when the man stabbed the couple in their upper torsos before fleeing the scene.
On Monday, Long Beach Police Department arrested 56-year-old Michael J. Smalls in relation to the case. He was apprehended at his Fourth Street apartment, which is just a mile away from the crime scene. According to Long Beach Police, with help of patrol officers, Smalls was identified as a suspect.
Smalls was booked into the Long Beach City Jail for one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, and is currently being held on $2,000,000 bail. Detectives will present the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for filing consideration this week. It is unclear if he’s retained an attorney. The motive is under investigation. Currently, there is no evidence this is a hate or bias motivated incident.
A GoFundMe campaign was created for the medical bills for both Finley & Stone, expenses to lay Finley to rest, his memorial, and to help cover Stone while he is out of work recovering. It has received over $36,000 as an outpour of support from friends, family, and strangers who have been struck by the untimely loss.