NEWARK (CBS SF) – Three people have been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Newark high school student Justice Afoa two years ago, police said Wednesday.

Afoa, who was a defensive lineman at Newark Memorial High School before transferring to the continuation school Bridgepoint High School, was stabbed to death near the intersection of Cedar Boulevard and Birch Street in Newark at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2010.

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The stabbing happened near Newark Memorial High School just after school had concluded for the day.

After dozens of search warrants and hundreds of interviews, Police Commander Mike Carroll said they arrested 19-year-old Daniela Guzman, 32-year-old Rafael Tovar and 31-year-old Daniel Howard. Tovar and Howard were already in custody on other charges.

“I don’t really feel good about solving a homicide. Justice died. These three people are gonna go hopefully away to prison for the rest of their lives, which affects their families, so there’s no real winners in this. Our community suffered. There’s not really a good feeling, but I’m happy for the mom in the sense that there’s closure,” Carroll said.

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KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Police said investigators obtained confessions from two of the suspects, who said Afoa was their intended target.

While all three suspects are alleged gang members, police said the attack stemmed from a fight between Afoa and Tovar months earlier, and that the stabbing was not random but rather a premeditated and deliberate attack in retaliation.

Newark police have forwarded the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to file charges against the three suspects.

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