TWENTYNINE PALMS — Two Marines were arrested on suspicion of murder Friday in the stabbing deaths of two Fullerton brothers outside a bar in this desert community, authorities said.
The San Bernardino County coroner's office identified the victims as Leroy A. Ortiz, 27, and James S. Ortiz, 28.
Their uncle, Frank Madrid, 41, of Anaheim was in serious condition with stab wounds at Hi Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, nursing supervisor Sherry Roden said .
The three men, who had been working locally on a three-month construction job, had left the Virginian bar on Cholla Street about 2:30 a.m. when they encountered two other men leaving the Jumping Cholla bar across the street.
"An argument started which led to a fight," said San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Dave Albright. "The suspects armed themselves and the victims were stabbed."
Arrested later Friday were Lance Cpl. James D. Torres, 22, and Pfc. Archie R. Sandoval, 23, both stationed at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Training Center.
They were taken to the Morongo Valley sheriff's station, Albright said.
Marine base spokesman William Saunders declined to comment on the arrests.
The attack occurred just a few hours after the Sheriff's Department began providing contract law enforcement for the city, which recently incorporated.