Shocked shoppers see a woman fall to her death from a parking structure at Parkway Plaza in El Cajon. Was she pushed? In Chollas View, a mother loses the second of her two sons to street violence three years after the first son was bludgeoned to death in front of the family home. In Spring Valley, a motorist swerves to avoid an object in the road. It's a body.
These are a few of the homicides from the first half of 2007 that authorities are investigating. Last week, we listed all of this year's homicides through April 29 along with their investigation status. This week, we continue San Diego's 2007 murder cases on Friday, May 4, with what looks like a robbery gone bad at a carpet store in Grant Hill.
BULLETS FLY THROUGH OAK PARK
5400 Bayview Heights Place, Oak Park, May 8, 8:59 p.m.
Officers were dispatched to a report of gunfire. Witnesses said that a male had been shot a few minutes before and then taken from the scene in an SUV. A short time later, officers were dispatched to Paradise Valley Hospital, where a shooting victim had been brought. At the hospital, police officers located the SUV from the shooting scene and detained the occupants for questioning. The victim was pronounced dead just after 10:00 p.m. Investigation revealed that the shooting took place in the street, next to a car parked in a cul-de-sac at Bayview Heights Place. Lt. Jeff Sferra says detectives found that bullets from the shooting had entered an apartment adjacent to the scene. San Diego Homicide identified the victim as Frederick Roberson, 38. The man who helped carry the victim into Paradise Valley Hospital's emergency room became boisterous, and a San Diego County sheriff's deputy had to pepper-spray him and subdue him with a Taser. According to Sferra, the man was cited and released at the scene. A "person of interest" bulletin went out for Nathaniel Smith, 21. Sferra indicates that the case is still being investigated.
SON IS FAMILY'S SECOND VICTIM OF GANG VIOLENCE
4900 Hilltop, Chollas View
May 20, 1:56 a.m.
Officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired. They found evidence of a shooting but could not locate a victim. They were notified at 2:34 a.m. that a stabbing victim had been brought to a local hospital by a male and female. The pair told officers they had picked up the victim in the 4900 block of Hilltop Drive. The victim was pronounced dead at 3:53 a.m. Homicide investigation has revealed that the victim had arrived by car on Hilltop Drive sometime before 2:00 a.m. He got out of the car and within a few minutes was attacked in the street by several males. The male and a female approached in a car and the attackers fled.
San Diego Homicide later identified the victim as 18-year-old Gustavo Rosales. He is the second son of Antonio and Marisela Rosales to become a victim of street violence. Their older son, Antonio, died in front of the family's Mountain View home in 2004, after being repeatedly hit in the head with a bottle.
Lt. Jeff Sferra says the suspects are described as Hispanic males with shaved heads, wearing Pendleton-style shirts. The case is still under investigation and appears to be gang-related.
A SHOOTING AND A MISSING GUN
1700 East Grand, Escondido
May 24, 5:21 p.m.
Police received a telephone report of a possible gunshot victim in front of a house. They arrived on the scene at approximately 5:25 p.m. and discovered the victim collapsed in the front yard of a house on Grand Avenue. The victim had been shot and was not responsive. A witness to the shooting told police one unknown male shot the victim and then ran from the scene. The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he later died from his wounds.
The Escondido Police Department identified the victim as Pedro David Gutierrez, 23, who worked as a caretaker in a convalescent home. He'd been a resident of Escondido all his life.
On Sunday, June 10, Matthew Darnell Miller, a 26-year-old Escondido resident, was arrested at his residence and charged with this homicide. On Monday, June 11, Annabel Muñoz, 30, another Escondido resident, was also arrested and charged in connection with the crime. Both suspects have been booked into the Vista Detention Facility for Penal Code 187 Homicide.
The Escondido Police Department believes these are the only two persons responsible for the crime and are not seeking any other persons. "The handgun is still outstanding in this shooting," states Lt. Robert Benton.
THE CASE OF THE BIRD ROCK BANDITS OF LA JOLLA
7200 Draper Avenue, La Jolla
May 28, 1:30 a.m.
Twenty-four-year-old Emery Kauanui was involved in a confrontation inside the La Jolla Brew House on the 7500 block of Fay Avenue, with a male later identified as Eric House. Witnesses state that Kauanui had accidentally spilled his drink on House, but other reports indicate that Kauanui may have been angry that House was talking to his girlfriend, Jennifer Grosso.
"I'm not so sure it was an accident," states Lt. Kevin Rooney of SDPD Homicide. After bouncers removed Kauanui and his antagonist from the bar, Kauanui returned to his mother's residence in the 7200 block of Draper Avenue. At least four males -- including the one with whom Kauanui argued -- showed up at Kauanui's residence at approximately 1:30 a.m. Kauanui and House became involved in a second argument that turned into a physical fight. House's companions joined in and punched and kicked Kauanui. Grosso tried to stop them by honking her horn, kicking in the headlight of the group's SUV, then calling 911. Police responded to a report of a street fight. Three of the males fled the scene. House, according to Rooney, stayed behind to look for a tooth he had lost. He was immediately arrested. Kauanui was admitted to the hospital for treatment of a head injury, but his condition worsened during the next four days and he died. He had a warrant out for his arrest in Oceanside for violating his probation on a DUI case in 2004.