CASS COUNTY, Mich. — An Elkhart man is dead after an early morning stabbing on Wednesday at a Michigan business.

The Cass County Sheriff's Department says 24-year-old Jan Carlos Velazquez Mendez got into a fight with a 23-year-old Elkhart man around 5:25 a.m. while on a break during their shift at Ameri-Kart at 19300 Grange St., located a few miles north of Simonton Lake.

Police are not sure what led up to the fight in the break room of the plant. Witnesses told Cass County sheriff's deputies the two men were engaged in a physical fight when they noticed Velazquez was bleeding from his neck and the suspect was holding a knife.

Velazquez ran out of the break room to escape the attack and collapsed from his injuries. Ameri-Kart's on-site medical staff and medical responders from the Edwardsburg Fire Department and Southeast Public Safety Authority tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, fellow Ameri-Kart employees detained the suspect, whose name was not released pending arraignment, in another area of the plant until police arrived.

An autopsy on Velasquez, who recently had relocated to Elkhart from Puerto Rico, is planned for Thursday at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. 

The suspect remained in custody at the Cass County Jail while Prosecutor Victor Fitz authorizes formal charges. An arraignment date has not been scheduled.

Ameri-Kart's website says the company was founded in 1989 and manufactures a variety of moldable polymers to repair flat tires, along with moldable products serving the RV and marine industries. The company has about 300 employees.

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