Late Friday night police identified the suspect in the deadly attack as Nathaniel Manlangit, a 26-year-old transient. Police say the suspect and victim were acquaintances.
According to officials, the two became involved in an altercation in the store and Manlangit armed himself with a baseball bat from a store shelf. Police say the suspect struck the victim multiple times with the bat and the victim died as a result of his injuries sustained during the assault.
Police were able to make a quick arrest and Manlangit was booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail for murder.
"Officers arrived on the scene in about 13 seconds and were able to take the suspect into custody while he was still inside the store," Sgt. Raj Maharaj said.
"Cops everywhere, man," mall employee Richard Masters said. "This whole thing had cops everywhere. I seen this whole place taped off."
He says mall management circulated a letter to tenants, reassuring them that it's now safe. It reads in part, "The possible suspect was taken into custody without incident. The remainder of the Great Mall remains open for business."
But the Sports Authority was closed for the rest of the day, prompting some questions from shoppers.
"I tried to approach the security guard and he said there's no comment and the shop is probably closed for the rest of the night," customer Armand Dotimas said.
A team that specializes in cleaning up crime scenes entered the Sports Authority store minutes after the police left. There is no word about when it will reopen.
Police do not believe the incident was gang-related and say Manlangit was the sole perpetrator in this incident. The Milpitas Police Department does not believe there are additional threats to public safety stemming from this assault.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or any other criminal activity occurring in the City of Milpitas is encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Information can also be given anonymously by calling (408) 586-2500.
This is the first homicide of the year in Milpitas.