Two Kitchener youths have been charged with second degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of 60-year-old John Ferreira on Dec. 31.

Waterloo Regional Police say the 16- and 18-year-old males were arrested in Kitchener without incident.

Both suspects are also charged with aggravated assault in connection with the attack on Ferreira's son Shawn, who police say had gone to his father's aid.

At the time of the alleged attack, the older suspect was 17, so the names of both accused males are being withheld as per the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The youths are being held in custody pending bail hearings.

Ferreira died after being stabbed in the chest while out walking with his son on the Iron Horse Trail in Kitchener on New Year's Eve.

Police say the victims had an argument with the unknown suspects before parting ways.

The Kitchener man and his son were steps away from home when police say they encountered the suspects again and the attack occurred.

Police are thanking the public for their assistance following an extensive canvass of houses and apartment buildings along the Iron Horse Trail.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact police at 519-650-8500 Ext. 8669 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Loved ones gather to say goodbye

Meanwhile family and friends gathered at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Kitchener on Friday to say goodbye to Ferreira.

Hundreds attended the midday service, including Ferreira's wife Leonor, three children and numerous grandchildren.

Mary Dentinger, Ferreira's sister-in-law says, "We're coping, that's all we can say, we're coping. I'm there for Leonor whenever she needs us, what else can we say."

She adds that Ferreira's wife and one daughter appear to have been particularly hard hit by the loss.

Friend Manny Macil describes Ferreira as, "A great friend, great athlete, and he was the guy that was always there when you needed help, so he's going to be missed."