weather icon Partly Cloudy

Police identify taco shop employee who was fatally stabbed Sunday

Updated October 28, 2020 - 11:03 am

A Metropolitan Police Department arrest report released Wednesday identified a taco shop employee who police said was fatally stabbed in the chest by a homeless man Sunday night.

He was Ciro Vasquez, according to the arrest report for the homeless man, 29-year-old Angel Martinez. The Clark County coroner’s office had not officially identified the victim as of Wednesday morning.

About 7:30 p.m. Sunday, police were called to the Taqueria del Paisano, 3603 Las Vegas Blvd. North, after receiving a report of a stabbing, police have said. Metro homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said that Martinez was asked to leave the taco shop shortly after entering the business to ask “for money and for food from the business owner.”

Vasquez escorted Martinez from the business, and a fight started outside, according to Martinez’s arrest report. Martinez stabbed Vasquez on the left side of his chest, and Martinez suffered a stab wound to his left shoulder, the report said.

Martinez told police he was acting in self-defense and “he never took his knife out of his pocket,” the report said. Detectives determined that Martinez had a history of being “aggressive towards the shop owners” in the area when asking for food.

“Martinez was the aggressor and initiated the fight, killing Vasquez,” the report said.

The 29-year-old walked away from the taco shop after the fight, but police found him shortly thereafter with survivable stab wounds.

On Monday, a man who works in the store adjacent to the taco shop told the Review-Journal that Martinez had a history of pestering businesses in the area.

“This guy, he’s been always a problem for all of us out here,” said Vivek Kumar, an employee at XO Liquor.

Kumar said he saw the aftermath of the attack Sunday night, and the victim asked him to call 911 before passing out.

Kumar did not know the victim’s name but said he was a very nice person who was working to make ends meet.

“He did not deserve to die the way he died,” he said.

Martinez remained in custody Wednesday without bail, court records show.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.