SAN DIEGO -- The suspect in a murder outside a 24 Hour Fitness in the Midway District, Ernesto Martinez, is still a free man -- but a neighbor that knows Martinez says he called his San Diego pastor from Mexico and may turn himself in.
Police have yet to confirm the information, however, and say he's yet to come forward.
Meanwhile, residents that were stuck inside a North Park apartment building as a SWAT team conducted a six hour search for Martinez on Sunday spoke out today. One neighbor and an employee at one of the nearby restaurants attached to the building confirmed Martinez's identity from his picture on Facebook, and told FOX 5 they knew him.
“He lives in the building, he’s got a Weimaraner, and the Weimaraner gets along with my dog so we chatted a bunch in the past. We’ve chatted with him and his girlfriend, very cool, normal, nice people, honestly,” said Nick Green, a neighbor.
But police suspect Martinez shot 27-year-old Alexander Mazin outside a 24 Hour Fitness on Sunday. The two were recent acquaintances, but police aren’t saying how they knew each other and they are still investigating the motive behind the murder.
The mother of the victim told FOX 5 that the family would like to remain private during this time to make sure nothing will interfere with the murder investigation. A celebration of life for Mazin is taking place on Sunday at the Bahia Hotel in Mission Bay.