Police arrest suspect in Lemon Grove parking lot slaying

LEMON GROVE — A probationer was back behind bars Friday following his arrest on suspicion of killing a fellow Lemon Grove resident last week during a fight near a home-improvement store in their East County hometown.

Gustavo Flores, 38, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of fatally wounding 47-year-old Juan Martinez in or near a parking lot outside the Home Depot in the 7500 block of Broadway, according to sheriff’s officials.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on June 21, the mortally wounded victim pounded on the front door of a home near the business, Lt. Rich Williams said. As a resident called 911, Martinez, who was bleeding from severe injuries to his upper body, collapsed and died.

The victim’s cause of death has been sealed pursuant to a court order.

Investigators believe the slaying stemmed from a dispute that the suspect and victim got into for unknown reasons in the commercial-residential neighborhood just south of state Route 94 and east of Massachusetts Avenue. Following an exchange of hostile words, Flores left the area, then returned a short time later and allegedly attacked Martinez with an undisclosed type of weapon, the lieutenant said.

Both men lived near the site of the fatal fight but apparently did not know each other, according to Williams.

Flores was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder, assault and probation violation. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit at (858) 974-2321 / after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.