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Gang member sentenced to 37 years for fatal strip mall shooting

SAN DIEGO — A gang member who drove into rival territory in Encanto and opened fire on two men — killing one and wounding another — was sentenced Friday to nearly 37 years in state prison.

Jared John Casey, 26, was acquitted last year of first-degree murder in the Oct. 7, 2015, death of 25-year-old Albert Franco, and a jury deadlocked on second-degree murder charges.

Casey subsequently pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and attempted voluntary manslaughter with the use of a firearm and gang allegations.

“This guy has ripped my family apart and I don’t understand why,” said Franco’s father, Rodney Nettles. “He took a life and it should be a life for a life, an eye for an eye. I don’t feel he should be able to walk the streets again, ever.”

Prosecutors said that on Oct. 7, 2015, at about 1:30 p.m., Casey drove to a gas station, then a minute later to a trolley station in the 6200 block of Imperial Avenue.

The defendant and the victim looked at each other, words and gang challenges were exchanged, and Casey fired five to seven shots, killing Franco with a bullet to the chest and wounding Ahmad Robinson, according to Deputy District Attorney John Pro.

The prosecutor said both victims were associates of a rival gang.

After the shooting, Casey fled but was arrested four days later after leading police on a high-speed chase.