Santa Ana: Suspect Arrested After Skate Park Stabbing That Left One Dead, Another Hospitalized

File Photo by County News Service

01.07.2022 | 9:30 PM | SANTA ANA – A 27-year-old man was arrested in connection with a stabbing at a skate park that left one person dead and another hospitalized, police announced Friday night.

The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Nicholas Nunez, of Santa Ana, was arrested Friday in connection with the January 6 stabbing incident.

Authorities say surveillance video showed Nunez and two victims in a physical altercation inside the Centennial Skate Park, located in the 3000 block of West Edinger Avenue.

Both victims sustained stab wounds to their chest and were dropped off at South Coast Global Medical Center shortly before 8:22 PM.

One victim, later identified as 27-year-old Jose Merlan, of Santa Ana, was pronounced deceased while the other victim was hospitalized in unknown condition.

Nunez was being held in the Orange County Jail on charges of murder and attempted murder.

The fatal stabbing appears to have stemmed from an ongoing dispute between the suspect and at least one of the victims, police said.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Santa Ana homicide detectives by calling (714) 245-8390.

Anonymous tips can be submitted through the Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling (855) TIP-OCCS or by visiting their website at

Miles Madison

Miles started reporting breaking news in 2015 and has been providing high-quality news video and timely reports from the Orange County area ever since. Combining his experience as a seasoned photojournalist, radio operator and sleuth, Miles provides unrivaled multimedia news reports.