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.
Arrested and charged for the murder are Seth Cravens, 21; Eric House, 20; Orlando Osuna, 22; and Matthew Yanke, 20. All are graduates of La Jolla High School and belong to a gang known as the Bird Rock Bandits, who boast on their web page about attacking strangers for sport. SDPD tracked them down by researching MySpace pages. Cravens and Kauanui knew each other -- Cravens was once best friends with Kauanui's brother Nigel, 21. All men were involved in sports activities. Cravens was a former La Jolla High football player and wrestler. House wrestled, played football, basketball, and lacrosse at La Jolla High. Osuna played football and Yanke enjoyed baseball.
There have been at least 14 reports on file of assault suspected by the Bird Rock Bandits. In some cases, arrests could not be made because victims feared retaliation if they pressed charges and testified, said Rooney. Seth Cravens had been banned from the Shack Bar and Grille on La Jolla Boulevard for constantly picking fights.
If convicted of the homicide, the four men face 25 to life in prison.
NEIGHBORLY KNIFE FIGHT TURNS FATAL
Corte Maria and D Street, Chula Vista
May 28, 3:45 p.m.
A neighbor confronted Danilo Abana, 55, an architect and building contractor, in front of his house at 180 Corte Maria Avenue around 3:45 p.m. The argument quickly escalated. The neighbor pulled out a knife and stabbed Abana repeatedly. Another neighbor, Fagaloa Fiatoa, 54, intervened to help and was also stabbed. He was hospitalized at UCSD Medical Center with injuries that were serious but not life threatening. The attacker was hospitalized as well. He had cuts and other injuries from having a brick thrown in his face, said Lt. Tro Peltekian of the Chula Vista Police. Abana, after being taken to UCSD Medical Center, died.
A HIT OR A RANDOM SHOOTING?
2000 Winnett Street, Encanto
May 28, 5:01 p.m.
Police responded to a report of a shooting. The victim had already left the scene, driven by a friend to the hospital. The victim was transferred to a trauma center, where he died at 6:55 p.m. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim was a passenger in a vehicle that stopped in the driveway of a residence on Winnett Street. Two of the vehicle's occupants went into the residence. A teal-colored, four-door vehicle stopped in the middle of Winnett Street, facing southbound, and two males exited. The males walked over to the victim and engaged him in a brief conversation before both pulled out handguns and shot him.
San Diego Homicide identified the victim as Meredith Jimison, 44, originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who worked as a landscaper. He was pronounced dead at Scripps Mercy Hospital. Police say the case is still under investigation and there is no apparent motive for the crime. According to Lt. Kevin Rooney, Homicide detectives and the SDPD Crime Lab identified Eugene Foster, 19, as one of the murder suspects.
Foster was in county jail on unrelated charges. On July 7, SDPD added the count of murder to the charges he is being held on.
The investigation into Jimison's murder continues, Rooney says.
NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER IN CASTLE NEIGHBORHOOD
3800 42nd Street, San Diego
June 1, 10:32 p.m.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found a male, 26, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Paramedics attempted to save his life, but he died on the scene. Witnesses reported they heard the sound of a vehicle leaving the area at the time of the shooting. The motive for this crime is unknown, says Lt. Kevin Rooney. Anyone with information should contact the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-TIPS.
SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED IN CASE OF MISSING GIRL
1330 Maria Avenue, Spring Valley
June 5, 11:30 p.m.
Brittany Monet Hart, 24, was considered a missing or abducted person. She was last seen at a gas station in Santee on May 24, 2007; she did not show up for work at Costco in La Mesa, nor was she in contact with friends and family. Cell phone records revealed at least one call between Hart and Robert Steven Carson, 40, near the time of her disappearance. A search warrant was executed at Carson's residence in Spring Valley on June 5. Carson is a registered sex offender who was convicted of rape in 1986. Hart's blood was found in his basement. Carson was arrested and charged with murder. Hart's body or vehicle was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, Carson did not cooperate with police.
On June 15, firefighters with the U.S. Forestry Service were engaged in a physical-training exercise in the Cleveland National Forest when they detected an odor coming from an area down an embankment and bordering a dirt road. They discovered a badly decomposed human body inside a plastic trash can. The medical examiner later identified the body as Hart's.
Sheriff's Homicide investigators learned that Carson had shopped at Costco the day before Brittany disappeared. Brittany's friend Kendra Scott, 19, had shopped there the same day and said Brittany was acting very strangely, unlike her usual personality. "I think something was wrong," says Kendra.
Carson is being held without bail for her murder. A memorial concert was held July 25, 2007, at Dreamstreet in Ocean Beach, with five bands playing. Hart's favorite area of San Diego was Ocean Beach, according to the promoter of the concert, Josh Hailing. "When Brittany's body was found, we decided right then that we wanted to help her family with any expenses they might incur because of this," says Hailing. Brittany knew many band members and was connected to the local music scene.
EAST COUNTY HIT OR A RANDOM SHOOTING?
Skyline Drive and Canton Drive, Lemon Grove
June 6, 7:23 p.m.
Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the vicinity of Skyline Drive and Canton Drive in Lemon Grove to investigate a report of gunshots being fired. While en route they were redirected to Kempf Street and Broadway. The first deputy arrived at that location at 7:34 p.m. Seated in a vehicle at the intersection, the deputy found a male and female, both victims of gunshot wounds. They were treated at the scene, then transported to a local hospital, where the male, 20, was pronounced dead at 9:14 p.m.
Homicide investigation revealed that the couple was stopped for a traffic light at the intersection of Skyline Drive and Canton Drive when a lone gunman approached them on foot and, without speaking, fired a handgun into the vehicle, striking both occupants. The gunman then returned to a four-door light-colored sedan, which had stopped at the intersection at about the same time as the victim's car. The suspect's vehicle, which is believed to have been occupied by several people, left the scene heading eastbound on Canton Drive, said Lt. Dennis Brugos. The wounded female drove herself and her male companion to Kempf Street and Broadway.
Brugos indicates that this crime is still being investigated and anyone with information should call the Homicide Detail at 858-974-2321 or after hours at 858-565-5200. Crime Stoppers can also be contacted.
ANOTHER SUV INVOLVED IN A SHOOTING
200 South 65th Street, Encanto
June 10, 8:56 p.m.
Officers were dispatched to a report of a man being shot. On arrival, they found the man lying in the driveway of a residence suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead at 10:05 p.m. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim was standing on the street corner with an acquaintance when a dark-colored SUV, similar to a Suburban, pulled up to the pair. The driver made a comment to the victim and then fired a gun several times. The victim crossed the street and collapsed in a driveway. The victim is 19 and has not yet been identified. Lt. Jeff Sferra says the suspect is described as a black male, 25, heavyset, wearing a beanie-style cap. Anyone with information is asked to call the SDPD Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers.
MAN DELIVERS FLOWERS, SHOOTS LOVER
3517 Camino del Rio South, Mission Valley
June 12, 1:56 p.m.
Officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting inside a medical office. Upon arrival, they found a female and a male suffering from gunshot wounds. Paramedics arrived and attempted emergency medical aid, but the female, Dawna Denize Wright, 31, was pronounced dead at 2:08 p.m. The male, a nurse at the medical office, had been grazed by a bullet and declined medical treatment at the scene. Wright worked as a receptionist at the medical office; she was seated in her workspace when a male approached her with a bouquet of roses. She asked if the roses were for her, and the male pulled out a gun and began firing.
At 3:11 p.m., Roger McDowell, 34, called police communications and reported that he had just killed his girlfriend at her workplace at 3517 Camino del Rio South. He said he was at his residence at 5100 Towle Court. Officers were dispatched there and took him into custody. It seems Wright and McDowell had known each other for years and had an "on-again/off-again" relationship, according to Lt. Jeff Sferra.
McDowell was booked on one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.
ANOTHER MURDER IN ENCANTO
6700 Mulberry Street, Encanto
June 14, 9:09 p.m.
Officers responded to a report of a dead body. A neighbor walking a dog had discovered the body of a male. With the assistance of the medical examiner's office, detectives determined that the male had been stabbed multiple times. The victim was 39, Hispanic, believed to be a San Diego resident but with no identification on his body. He was ID'ed after a fingerprint check, says Lt. Jeff Sferra, but his name is being withheld pending family notification.
MORE PEOPLE SHOT AND KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY
9400 Apple Street, Spring Valley
June 17, 10:33 p.m.
Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Grand Avenue and Apple Street in Spring Valley to investigate a report of gunshots being heard. At the location, an 18-year-old male gunshot victim (later identified as Gabriel Delgado) was found lying on a sidewalk. Lifesaving efforts began immediately, and the victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m., says Lt. Dennis Brugos.
Delgado was walking, with two companions through the parking lot of a closed business at 949 Grand Avenue when he contacted two or more individuals sitting in a parked car. It was at that time that Delgado was shot. Delgado and his companions ran eastbound on Apple Street from the shooting scene. Delgado, however, collapsed at the location (Horseshoe Liquor), where deputies found him. The suspect car took off. "Nobody knows the direction of travel or has any good description of the vehicle," Brugos says.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers or the Sheriff's Homicide Detail.
GANG-RELATED SHOOTING AT THE BIRDLAND 7-ELEVEN
7700 Starling, Linda Vista
June 19, 3:15 p.m.
The victim and several companions went to a 7-Eleven. There they encountered the suspect, Kevin Marquez, 18, who had had a previous confrontation with the victim. Marquez challenged the group and made a gang reference. The group left the store and Marquez followed them. The victim's companions ran away, and Marquez chased the victim behind a gas station and shot him. Marquez got into a nearby vehicle and drove away. Marquez was arrested by the SDPD Gang Suppression Unit at 220 Dunlop Street, Linda Vista, at 7:50 p.m.
The victim died at the hospital at 8:05 p.m. The medical examiner's office revealed him to be Gregory Smith, 20, of San Diego.
ANOTHER MAN SHOT IN SPRING VALLEY DIES
1500 Presioca Street, Spring Valley
June 21, 10:35 a.m.
Deputies received a call of an assault with a deadly weapon. Within minutes they arrived on scene. They were directed to a gravel driveway leading to several homes. Lying in the driveway was a 36-year-old male gunshot victim. Paramedics and fire personnel arrived a short time later. Lt. Dennis Brugos says medics tried to revive the victim, but he never regained consciousness. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:54 a.m. Preliminary witness accounts report that after one to three shots were heard, a male, possibly Hispanic, was seen fleeing the scene on foot, northbound on Presioca Street. The medical examiner's office revealed the victim to be Alvaro P. Higuera. Brugos indicates that the case is still actively being investigated.
DEATH IN VISTA
Vista Village Drive/Plymouth Drive, Vista
June 23, 9:37 p.m.
Deputies responded to the report of a person down. The first deputy arrived on scene and came upon Nathan Benjamin Freeman, a 25-year-old male, lying in the street, the victim of multiple stab wounds. Within minutes paramedics and fire personnel arrived. The victim was then transported to Palomar Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to Lt. Dennis Brugos, the circumstances surrounding this incident are unknown and still under investigation. Investigators have no idea what Freeman, a Carlsbad resident, was doing in the area prior to the assault. "We're trying to get answers on why he was in that part of town," says Brugos. "At this point, we really don't have any answers."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Detail or Crime Stoppers.
DEATH IN A TRASH CAN
1412 Naranca, El Cajon
June 24, 11:18 a.m.
El Cajon Police dispatch received a call reporting a body. Patrol officers responded to the scene and found a body in a trash can on the side of a vacant house. The body had begun to decompose and appeared to have been there for some time. Detectives from the Homicide Unit were called to the scene to conduct an investigation. During the investigation, detectives were contacted by a female who said her son had been involved in a motorcycle accident, as the rider, on June 17, about a block away from where the body had been found. She said that he had not been seen since the day of the accident.
Detectives learned that there had in fact been a motorcycle accident at Main and I-8 on June 17 at 1:14 p.m. The rider of the motorcycle fled on foot from the scene prior to the arrival of the CHP and El Cajon Police. A search was conducted by El Cajon Police and officers, but the motorcyclist was not located.
Upon removing the body from the trash can, the decedent was identified as Anthony Dale Snow, 36, of Alpine. It appears as if Snow might have tried to hide in the trash can after running from the scene of the accident, for reasons unknown. The body was removed from the scene by personnel from the medical examiner's office.
A HIT OR A RANDOM SHOOTING?
700 41st Street, Mt. Hope
June 26, 2:19 a.m.
The victim was attending a party. Witnesses reported seeing a Cadillac Escalade, occupied by four Hispanic males, circling the block prior to the shooting. The Escalade stopped in the street; several of the males exited the car and walked toward where the victim was standing. The suspect(s) shot the victim and fled from the scene. Police identified the man as Ivan Angel Renteria, 25. The motive of the crime is not known, says Lt. Kevin Rooney.
THREE STABBED, ONE DIES
1020 Redwood Avenue, El Cajon
June 26, 9:50 p.m.
El Cajon Police received a 911 call regarding a stabbing. Officers found the 17-year-old victim lying on the sidewalk in front of the address. El Cajon Fire Department paramedics began lifesaving measures, but their efforts were unsuccessful and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Fifteen minutes later, a second call regarding a stabbing victim was received from the 200 block of Lincoln, approximately a half-mile from the location of the first homicide. A third stabbing victim was located at Grossmont Hospital. None of these two victims' injuries were life threatening. The additional victims were also juveniles, and it was determined that all three victims had been walking on Redwood when they were confronted by a group of individuals in front of 1020 Redwood. A fight broke out, and all three victims were stabbed.
The identities of the suspects are unknown at this time, says Lt. Tim Henton, and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the El Cajon Police Department at 619-579-3311.
FOSTER CHILD DIES FROM APPARENT ABUSE
900 South 45th Street, Mountain View
June 29, 8:30 p.m.
Paramedics were dispatched to assist a two-year-old foster child in distress. The child, later identified as Malachi Roberts-McBride, was taken to Children's Hospital. Doctors determined that he had devastating brain injury and bruises to his body. Detectives from the Child Abuse Detail made an initial investigation, and when doctors declared young Malachi's death imminent, the SDPD Homicide Unit took over, according to Lt. Kevin Rooney.
Detectives interviewed the foster mother, Linda Coleman, 47, and deduced that her version of what happened was inconsistent with Malachi's injuries.
Malachi died on June 29. An autopsy was done on July 1. The medical examiner's finding revealed that the boy's death was due to injuries caused by blunt force trauma.
On July 3, Linda Coleman surrendered to the Homicide Unit at police headquarters. She was booked for one count of murder.
A FATAL SHOT IN LINCOLN ACRES
2700 Vista Way, National City
July 5, 1:00 a.m.
Sheriff's Communication Center received a 911 call of a shooting that took place in the unincorporated area of National City known as Lincoln Acres. Deputies responded to the incident and located an injured male on the street with an apparent gunshot wound. Paramedics and firefighters arrived on scene and tried, unsuccessfully, to save the man's life.
At 1:27 a.m. the victim was pronounced dead. Detectives from the Sheriff's Homicide Detail responded to the scene and took over the investigation. They have identified the victim as James Robert Trinidad. A motive for this homicide has not been established, says Sergeant Roy Frank.
MURDER-SUICIDE AT THE MARINA
333 West Harbor Drive, San Diego
July 7, 7:45 p.m.
A guest on the seventh floor of the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina heard a female screaming in the room next to his, followed by several gunshots. He notified security. Security called police and evacuated guests on the floor. Police entered the room and found the bodies of a male and a female.
"Based on the positions of the body and the evidence at the scene," states Lt. Kevin Rooney, "it appears the male shot the female to death before turning the weapon on himself." The medical examiner's office released the identities of the deceased as Harold M. Kent, 54, and his apparent girlfriend Lisa K. Walsh, 43. Both worked as physical trainers and may have been in town for a fitness convention, according to the medical examiner's office.
At "The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture" from Publishers Weekly (www.pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog), a blogger posted on July 11: "I was staying there the night it happened for the IDEA Fitness Convention. Apparently he killed the woman and then himself. I was three rooms across from them on the same floor."
TWO DIE IN ANOTHER GANGLAND DRIVE-BY
600 Sawtelle Avenue, Jamacha-Lomita
July 8, 12:07 a.m.
Officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting. On arrival, they found two male victims on the sidewalk in front of a residence. Paramedics pronounced one male, John Perez, 33, dead at the scene and transported the second male, Frank Perez, 35, to a trauma center; he died July 9 at 10:00 a.m. Investigation has revealed that a family had gathered to watch a sports event on TV. Several family members were outside the residence when the suspect vehicle drove by (described as a late-1990s pickup truck, white, with an extended cab). The truck made a U-turn and stopped in the street. The driver yelled out a gang challenge to the victims. "A passenger in the truck got out," says Lt. Kevin Rooney, "and gunshots followed." The truck fled the scene.
NORTH PARK MUGGING TURNS DEADLY
2900 Suncrest Drive, San Diego
July 14, 12:04 a.m.
Multiple gunshots were heard and police were called. Officers arrived and found two victims, a male and a female, lying next to a vehicle. Both were transported to a nearby trauma center. The male victim, 30, died at 12:53 a.m. The female victim survived her gunshot wounds.
On July 16, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office identified the decedent as Timothy Traaen, who lived on Huerfano Avenue.
Investigation revealed that the couple left a bar on 30th and Adams Street and were getting into their car when they were approached by a male suspect with a gun who demanded their money. The suspect shot both of them and ran south into the west alley of 4700 30th Street. A witness reported seeing a light-colored Chevrolet van parked near the south alley of 3000 Suncrest Drive at the time of the robbery/shooting. The van quickly drove in reverse down the alley. Lt. Kevin Rooney states that the relationship between the van and the shooting has not been established. Rooney indicates that the suspect is described as a black male, 5'6" to 5'8", wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information about the crime should call homicide detectives at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers.
PUNCTURE WOUND SLAYS MAN IN CHOLLAS CREEK
5000 Wightman Street, San Diego
July 14, 2:44 a.m.
Officers were dispatched to investigate a report of a man being assaulted in an apartment complex. A witness heard a man yelling for help. They found a male, 36, lying unconscious on the second-floor balcony. He was suffering from "an apparent puncture wound," according to Lt. Manny Guaderrama. Officers attempted CPR on the victim. They were unsuccessful in reviving the victim, and the responding medical team pronounced him dead on the scene. The witness told police that the victim was arguing with another male.
STEPCHILDREN ARE SUSPECTS IN ROBBERY/HOMICIDE
4300 Maracco Drive, Rolando
July 19, 12:31 p.m.
Police offices were dispatched to a report of a shooting and found Timothy McNeil, 63, who died at the scene. Preliminary investigations revealed that a male suspect, wearing a ski mask, attempted to rob McNeil. There was a struggle and McNeil was shot. Witnesses reported seeing a male, 18-25, with short, sandy blond hair, wearing a black shirt, running away from the general area of the scene after the shooting -- he got into a 1990 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck. He removed his black shirt and was seen wearing a white shirt when he drove away.
Seems there are two suspects in this crime, and they are McNeil's stepchildren. A female juvenile was arrested in La Mesa on July 20; her brother, Nathaniel Gann, 20, was arrested in Maricopa County, Arizona. The investigation is still continuing, according to Lt. Manny Guaderrama of the SDPD.
SHOOT-OUT AT WILD WOOLY'S SALOON LEAVES ONE DEAD
247 Broadway, Chula Vista
July 21, 1:03 a.m.
A verbal dispute took place inside the Wild Wooly's Saloon, escalating into a fight outside the bar in the back alley. Several people heard a loud gunshot. Police were called to the scene, where they located 22-year-old Andrew Albert Hicks, who had been shot, lying on the ground. Paramedics were called; they attempted medical aid. Hicks was transported to UCSD Medical Center for treatment. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. According to the employees at Wild Wooly's, Hicks is a frequent customer but the unknown gunman is not. It is uncertain what the dispute was about. The Chula Vista Police Department is searching for clues and witnesses. Any person with information about this shooting, or the circumstances that led to it, is urged to call the CVPD at 619-691-5151 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers.
SHOPLIFTER SHOOTS KMART EMPLOYEE
1855 Main Street, Ramona
July 21, 2:40 p.m.
Sheriff's Communications Center received the call of a "person down" at the Kmart. Deputies arrived and saw a large group of people just outside the garden shop area of the store. First aid was being rendered to an adult male, later identified as a 34-year-old Kmart employee working as a loss-prevention security agent. In the same general area a second male adult, later identified as Andrew Nicholas Griffith, 28, was lying handcuffed on the ground. Witnesses gave deputies a handgun, apparently used by Griffith against the Kmart employee.
This is what is reported to have happened: An alarm was activated as Griffith walked out of the store, allegedly with stolen merchandise. He was stopped by the victim, acting in the capacity as "a loss-prevention specialist," according to investigators. A struggle occurred, and a second loss-prevention agent went to assist his partner. Griffith reached into his waistband and pulled out a handgun. He fired the gun, wounding the victim.
Store customers assisted in taking Griffith into custody, while others -- including a retired nurse -- rendered first aid to the victim until paramedics arrived. Lt. Dennis Brugos says that Griffith "tried to break away from the deputies once they took him into custody." Griffith has been booked on one count of murder.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. He was also on active duty with the U.S. Navy.
FATAL STABBING NEAR THE O.B. PIER
1950 Abbott Street, Ocean Beach
July 21, 11:09 p.m.
State Fish and Game officers were patrolling the Ocean Beach Pier. A citizen contacted them and reported a fight on the beach. The officers observed two males punching it out and witnessed one of them being stabbed several times. They took the guy with the knife into custody, identified as Robert Daniel Garcia, 46. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by responding medical units. The county coroner has identified the victim as 46-year-old Robert Schoeller, no known address.
Garcia and Schoeller were apparently acquaintances and "had an argument which led to a physical confrontation," according to Lt. Manny Guaderramma. The basis of the disagreement, for now, is unknown.
BODY DUMPED NEAR BORDER
Eastbound Interstate 8, Jacumba
July 22, 7:20 a.m.
Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were driving eastbound on Interstate 8, about one mile east of Carrizo Gorge Road, near the community of Jacumba, when they discovered a body on the right shoulder of the roadway. After checking the body, the agents notified their command of the situation. Sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers, and paramedics from the California Department of Forestry responded to the scene. At 7:50 a.m., paramedics pronounced the subject deceased.
Due to the fact that the body was bound and trauma observed, Sheriff's Homicide and Crime Lab investigators were called to conduct the follow-up investigation. The decedent is described as a Hispanic male 20-25 years of age. Lt. Dennis Brugos says this does not look like an accident, speculating that since there is a nearby border checkpoint, the body may have been dumped from a car.