Ryan Harris during a Marine boot camp graduation in 2015. Dianna Holt
Ryan Harris during a Marine boot camp graduation in 2015. Dianna Holt

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Two men arrested in stabbing death of Marine from Sacramento area

By Molly Sullivan

msullivan@sacbee.com

December 31, 2017 02:47 PM

San Diego police have arrested two men in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Ryan Evan Harris, a Marine from Elverta who was stationed at Camp Pendleton.

At about 11 p.m. Saturday night, officers arrested Jose Oscar Esqueda, 30, and Jeff Shai Holliday, 24, both of San Diego, the Police Department announced Sunday.

Officers responded to 911 calls reporting a fight in the Gaslamp District of San Diego Friday night and found Harris on the sidewalk. He had been stabbed in the upper torso, according to police. Officers and bystanders administered first aid, but Harris died at the scene.

A second man was also stabbed in the same fight. Officers found him a block away, and he was taken to the hospital. His wounds are serious but not life-threatening, police said.

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Esqueda is charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Holliday is charged with murder, assault with a deadly weapon, battery and a probation violation.

Harris lived with his grandparents in Elverta before moving to Camp Pendleton, according to his grandmother, Dianna Holt. He had visited the family for Christmas before returning to the base earlier this week.

“We’ve found out he lost his life trying to do the right thing and trying to stop a fight,” Holt said Saturday. “This is just a tragic loss for our country.”

Harris is survived by his parents, two brothers, a sister and his grandparents, Holt said.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM