Shortly before 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 19, residents in the 1300 block of Grove Avenue in Imperial Beach heard what they thought were firecrackers. Ten minutes later, one of those residents walked to his car that was parked in the alley between 14th and Georgia Street. There, he saw a teen lying on his back in the paved alley. He shouted in Spanish, “Hey, get up!” before he saw blood on the person’s shirt.
A sheriff’s deputy was overheard saying that, shortly after the shooting, three Hispanic teens were seen riding bikes nearby and, according to a witness, were sweating profusely. When asked what was going on, one of the teens said, “They shot my homie!”
Deputies requested assistance from San Diego police, and a two-block area was taped off. San Diego County sheriff's homicide Lt. Dennis Brugos said they were not sure what caused the victim to die but that they were looking into a report of a confrontation between two groups of males.
Maria M., who lives two buildings over from the scene with her 11- and 13-year-old daughters, said her brother-in-law heard what sounded like four gunshots but figured it was just some firecrackers. Looking across the street to the body lying uncovered in the alley, she said, “That’s the fifth dead body I’ve seen in my life.” Her 11-year-old daughter said, “This is my second.”