SAN DIEGO — Members of the Clairemont community rallied Sunday to honor the life of 22-year-old Cesar Lopez Sandoval, who was shot and killed outside of the North Clairemont Recreation Center just before noon on January 22.
The community said they are taking a stand against violence in their community and want to “take back the park.”
Members of the police department, community leaders and activists attended Sunday’s rally and event.
“When this happened last Sunday we were devastated,” said Andrea Oldakowski, who lives in Clairemont. “A 22-year-old boy’s life was taken in broad daylight and it’s like how can that happen.”
“He was admired as a rapper, he was very talented and he had a great future ahead of him,” said San Diego Councilmember Jennifer Campbell during Sunday’s rally.
“This is my community, this is my park, this is my family, these are my friends and I’m going to stand up to do everything I can to discourage criminal activity in the heart of Clairemont,” Michael Pallamary said. He has lived in Clairemont for the last 43 years. Pallamary said he has raised his kids and grandkids in the area and is deeply concerned. He organized the community rally Sunday.
“My goal is to get either the city or somebody, I’m willing to put money in, to install some web cameras,” Pallamary said.
The shooting has sent shockwaves through the community, Pallamary said a youth basketball game was happening just yards away from the shooting Sunday.
“How many of our children witnessed this thing?” Pallamary questioned.
“The homicide unit is processing evidence and going over witness statements to try and identify and locate the suspect or suspects involved in this heinous crime,” said SDPD Northern Division Captain Erwin Manansala during Sunday’s rally. “This was an isolated incident, this is not something that happens in this park or any park in the northern division on a regular basis.”
The San Diego Police Department said it will increase patrols and its presence in the area of the park.
The suspect, or suspect’s description has still not been released.
According to police, “the victim had a brief confrontation with two males that were in the park immediately preceding the shooting. During that brief confrontation, the suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim multiple times before the suspect and his companion ran off south through the park. There were multiple persons in and around the park that witnessed a portion of the shooting and provided limited descriptions of suspects.”
“Detectives have received a description of the suspects but until witnesses can be further interviewed, that information is not being released at this time,” the police department said in a press release.