Accused Gaslamp Quarter shooter denies murder charge

Local

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 25-year-old Northern California resident accused of gunning down a man in the Gaslamp Quarter last month pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.

Lord Gabriel, a resident of the Contra Costa County city of Pittsburg, is accused of shooting 25-year-old Jose Jonathan Garcia just before 2 a.m. July 19. Gabriel would faces 50 years to life in state prison if convicted of murder and a firearm use allegation.

Garcia was shot at the end of a fight that erupted during an argument in the 500 block of Island Avenue, near Fifth Avenue, San Diego police Lt. Michelle Velovich said. After the gunfire, the shooter fled in a car with at least two other companions, she said.

Arriving officers found several people rendering aid to Garcia. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Gabriel was arrested around 5 p.m. the same day in Tucson, Arizona. He was extradited to San Diego on Wednesday and booked into the San Diego Central Jail, where he’s being held without bail.

“He took a life we love — have to deal with not having around. That hurts. we just want to make sure justice is served,” Danny Huerta, the victim’s uncle, told Fox 5.

At his client’s Friday afternoon arraignment, Deputy Public Defender Doug Miller requested that some amount of bail be set, arguing that Gabriel has no prior criminal record. Miller also said Gabriel cooperated with arresting officers and made a statement indicating self-defense was involved in the shooting.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Joseph Brannigan elected to leave Gabriel in custody without bail, citing the seriousness of the charges and apparent flight out-of-state.

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