A 30-year-old California man was killed by two wedding crashers over the weekend just hours after he got married, authorities said Monday.
Newlywed Joe Melgoza suffered blunt force trauma to his head in the early morning hours on Sunday, police said. Officers began life-saving efforts and Melgoza was transported to a medical center in Chino, California, where he died from his injuries.
The men accused of killing Melgoza are brothers Rony Castaneda Ramirez, 28, and Josue Castaneda Ramirez, 19, according to the City of Chino Police Department.
According to police, officers responded to a call about a fight in Chino at around 2:20 a.m. December 15. When officers arrived, they encountered a large crowd from a nearby wedding party and two victims of battery who had sustained minor injuries. Police then located Melgoza, the third victim, in the backyard of a nearby home.
The suspected killers weren't invited to the wedding reception that took place just hours after Melgoza got married, NBC News reports.
According to NBC News, the two men showed up at the bride's sister's home, where the wedding reception was taking place, and were asked to leave. The two brothers left and returned with bats, Melgoza's brother told KNBC. He said his brother was trying to protect his family from the uninvited men.
"Joe was a loving son, brother, father, cousin, partner, family member and friend," a GoFundMe for Melgoza's funeral services says. "He always had a way to make you smile. He was there for you at anytime to give a helping hand. He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way."
Melgoza leaves behind his daughter, 11-year-old Lilly, of whom he had sole custody.
The brothers were arrested without incident Sunday and detectives are continuing their investigation into the homicide.
The alleged killers are being held without bail on suspicion of murder, according to inmate records.