Man fatally shot at EZ-8 motel identified

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SAN DIEGO — Authorities Wednesday identified a 22-year-old man fatally shot last week during an argument at a Palm City motel.

Officers responding to reports of gunfire at a lodge in the 1000 block of Outer Road at about 9 p.m. Friday found Juan Miguel Diaz of San Diego suffering from several gunshots to the chest in a rented room, according to police.

Medics took Diaz to a hospital, where he died early the next morning, Lt. Manny Del Toro said.

Detectives determined that Diaz had gotten into a quarrel with a friend, 23-year-old San Diego resident Luis Alexis Avila, who allegedly ended the dispute by pulling a gun and opening fire on the victim.

Both men were staying at the motel and had been drinking and partying with others prior to the gunfire, according to Del Toro. At lease one other person was in the room at the time of the shooting, which apparently erupted after “horseplay” between Diaz and Avila escalated into an angry scuffle, the lieutenant said.

Avila was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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