According to news reports in other media, Montgomery's father said that his son alleges he stabbed Denver in self-defense after Denver hit him over the head with a chair.

In response to that allegation, Haro said an independent witness or a videotape is "going to answer the questions."

Family and friends from Fort Bragg, Southern California and Boise, Idaho, began to converge on the ball park at 10 a.m. Sunday to hand out fliers asking independent witnesses to step forward. A second flier, entitled "Justice for Jon," included an address for the Jonathan Denver Memorial Fund.

In a written statement released Friday night, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said police had not been able to interview any independent witnesses to the incident. This statement prompted Preece and his family to make their public plea.

"I don't know how this will end," Preece said. "I only know I have lost my son too soon."

Giants fans going to the game approached many of Denver's family and friends, some of whom wore Dodger blue sweatshirts stating "RIP Jon Denver" and "Justice for Jon," offering condolences for their loss.

But many fans were still trying to piece together what exactly happened that night. And some were trying to figure out why the alleged perpetrator had a knife in the first place.

"It was a great game, and everyone was in high spirits, so it was heart-breaking," said Shelley Bowers of Los Altos, who was at the Wednesday night Giants-Dodgers game. "But how come he had a knife? There are two sides to every story."

Shannon Locke, a friend of the victim's who drove down from Fort Bragg with Denver and three others on Wednesday night, did not witness the fatal melee but tried to fill in some of the missing puzzle pieces.

Locke, who dates the victim's best friend, said about 12 people attended the game to celebrate Denver's father's birthday.Only seven stayed after the game.

Denver and another friend left during the eighth inning to go to the Polo Grounds Pub and Grill, she said. The sports bar is located at 747 Third St., just across from Willie Mays Plaza.

After the game, she said she and four others in the group met up with Denver at the bar. At around 11 p.m., the group began to split apart when her boyfriend went to the car for cigarettes.

According to the San Francisco Police Department, at around 11:30 p.m., Denver and a group of his family members and friends encountered a group of four or five people who had not attended the game, near the intersection of Third and Harrison streets.

What started out as a verbal confrontation about the Giants vs. Dodgers rivalry turned to a physical confrontation, police said. The two groups walked away from each other, but reportedly, one of the groups could not let the confrontation go.

Locke said that when she and her boyfriend walked back to the car parked near Third and Harrison, she saw the area was taped off. After being stabbed, Denver was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and died of his wounds.

Locke said she went to the hospital, where she talked to the surgeon who had tried to save Denver by opening up his chest.

"He was stabbed in the heart," she said. "But they were not able to repair it."

At Sunday's press conference, the victim's mother Diana Denver paid tribute to her son but was too shaken up to speak, so Haro took over for her.

"He was universally known and loved in the small community of Fort Bragg," Haro said. "He was peaceful, down-to-earth and a gentle soul."

Friends say that although he was dressed in a Dodgers T-shirt that night, Denver was at the game primarily to spend time with his dad.

They described Denver as a "country boy" who always had a smile on his face. He worked as a plumbing apprentice at a Fort Bragg company.

According to media reports, he had been in trouble in Mendocino County this year. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in July and again this month on suspicion of public intoxication at the county fair.

Some Giants fans said Sunday the age-old rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers — heightened by the 2011 attack on Giants fan Bryan Stow after a Dodgers-Giants game in Los Angeles — may have played a role in Wednesday night's tragic confrontation.

"I think that incident increased the tension between the fans," said Trena Getchell of Martinez. "And alcohol probably played a role."

Family friend Bradley Meadows, who grew up in Fort Bragg, said the small, coastal town has been deeply affected by Denver's death.

"It's rocking the whole community," he said. "We hold no grudge against the San Francisco community ... We just want people to be aware of how good a person he was."

Witnesses with information may contact San Francisco police Sgt. Daniel Dedet at (415) 553-9130. Anonymous tips can be left at (415) 575-4444.