Robert Colegrove, 45, was in his backyard in the 2200 block of Denver street when 42-year-old Jeret Needham, a wrestling coach at Madison High School, allegedly shot him at least once in the upper body about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, then fled in a silver minivan down an adjacent alley, according to police.
Needham, 42, was booked into San Diego Central Jail early Wednesday morning on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Colegrove.
Residents on Denver Street said they were not surprised that someone was killed.
“It’s a drug house. I’m not surprised,” said Carrie, a neighbor who only wanted to be identified by her first name. “It’s a known drug house, meth actually. There have been many raids.”
“One time they closed the whole street – at least 60 police were here,” said another neighbor.
According to police, the home was been raided multiple times for criminal activity relating to drugs.
Neighbors said the two men were fighting over Colegrove’s girlfriend. Maryanne Eldredge, a friend and colleague of Colegrove, said he showed up at the home and the two men got into an altercation.
“He betrayed her trust by coming on to her. I think it might have had something to do with that,” said Eldredge. “He was uninvited and got into a fight with Robert. He left and came back with a gun. And snuck up on him from the back fence.”
Needham has worked as a “walk-on” coach for the Clairemont Mesa school for the past three years, said Jack Brandais, spokesman for San Diego Unified School District. Prior to his arrest, Needham had been slated to resume the job at the Doliva Drive campus at the start of wrestling season, which runs from November through February.
People who know Needham said they were shocked to learn of his involvement.
“He’s not that kind of person,” said Isaiah McDanials. “He’s really cool. He tried to get me into wrestling, too. I can’t believe he would do something like this.”
Needham was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.