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.
Investigators believe the two men got into a verbal argument with a third unidentified man who was riding a bicycle by the bar.
Mineshaft co-owner Jeff Darling, told Long Beach Post, there seems to have been a small argument and it appeared the two victims were trying to get the man to move along from the front of the bar. The altercation became physical and the suspect allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed both men in the upper torso before fleeing the scene.
Finley was described as someone who frequented the bar and was recognized by staff. The attacker never entered the building, but the victims ended up in the bar’s doorway.
According to Long Beach Police Department, the attack is currently under investigation and is not being treated as a hate crime.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Michael Hubbard and Jesus Espinoza at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the “P3 Tips” app to your smartphone (available at the Apple app store or Google Play), or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Long Beach is one of the biggest queer communities in the nation and Mineshaft prides itself in being a safe space for community members and visitors.
Mineshaft shared a post of sympathy in light of the incident that occurred just outside their front door.
A GoFundMe campaign has been 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.
Those who knew Finley have taken to social media in an outpour of sympathy for a community member gone too soon.