SAN DIEGO — A fifth suspect has been arrested in the drive-by shooting that killed a 14-year-old San Diego boy earlier this week, police announced Thursday.
The child, identified by family members as Erick Balanzar, was gunned down on Jan. 31 as he walked home from a bus stop after school. Earlier this week, four people were arrested on suspicion of his murder.
Now a fifth person has been taken into custody: a 17-year-old boy who was identified during the course of San Diego Police Department’s investigation.
The department said in a news release that the teenager was located Wednesday afternoon during a traffic stop on El Cajon Boulevard near Interstate 805. Police arrested him on suspicion of murder and booked him into juvenile hall. Officials did not publicly identify him due to his age.
Balanzar was a freshman at King-Chavez High School downtown. He was walking with friends outside the Island Gardens Apartments in Mount Hope Monday when he was shot from a passing vehicle around 4:15 p.m.
Witnesses told investigators it was a gray or silver SUV with a group of people inside. The vehicle sped away, but its license plate was reported to police.
Balanzar was rushed to the hospital after the shooting but pronounced dead a short time later. He was mourned in an impromptu mass at the apartment complex Tuesday.
The four people who were previously arrested in the case are: 18-year-old Bryan Escobedo, 19-year-old Ethan Peaslee-Guerrero, 18-year-old Omar Morales and a 17-year-old boy whose name was also not released.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.