A gunman walked up to David Thorne in a liquor store parking lot and fired several shots around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, police said. He was rushed to a hospital and placed on life support, police said.
Thorne's cousin, Joseph Bonner, said their family was told that Thorne was not expected to survive, but they are praying a positive outcome.
"Doctors at first were saying there's no chance for survival. Now they're not sure, so there's hope here for the family," Bonner said.
Family members don't know who the shooter is. Police say he wore dark clothes and ran into an alley next to 48th street.
"At least from what all of us know, he could have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Bonner.
Medics performed CPR on Thorne and rushed him to Scripps Mercy Hospital. At first, it didn't look like he'd make it.
"He was later transported to Mercy Hospital, where he is currently not expected to survive," said police Lt. Ray Valentin.
But the family believes there's now hope for the father of three.
"He's just like beautiful person to be around, always making someone smile" said Bonner.
The family doesn't have any words for the shooter, but they do have a message for the community.
"If anything, have love for mankind, have love for each other," said Bonner.
The cousin also says just the other day, David called 911 after seeing a girl extremely sick on the street. She made it to the hospital just in time, Bonner added. After saving someone else's life, David is now fighting for his own. The family is hoping that the results from a CAT scan on Sunday will give them more reason for hope.
The San Diego Police Department's Homicide Unit asked anyone with information regarding the shooting to call them at 619-531-2000.