The victim from Sunday’s early morning stabbing call has been identified as Joseph Anthony Ortega, age 36, of Willows.  He is still in critical condition at Mercy Intensive Care Unit.

After speaking with multiple witnesses and reviewing evidence at the scene, Redding Police Investigators arrested Billy Wayne Goss, age 35, a transient from the Redding area, for attempted murder.  He was booked at Shasta County Jail, with bail set at $500,000.

The investigation revealed Ortega and Goss had never met before this morning’s incident.  Ortega and his adult son traveled to Redding with a friend to pick up a mutual acquaintance.   When they stopped for food at the Jack in the Box next to the AM/PM, Ortega and his adult son became involved in a verbal argument with Goss and two of his friends.  The argument escalated into a fight in front of the AM/PM mini-market, at which time Goss stabbed Ortega in the neck and fled the scene.  Officers located him hiding in a ditch under a bridge several hundred yards away.  He gave up when officers approached him.  The knife has not yet been located.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has relevant information is encouraged to contact the Redding Police Investigations Unit.