SAN DIEGO – Officers are searching for at least two people responsible for shooting and killing a man at the North Clairemont Recreation Center, said San Diego police.
The recreation center is located at 4421 Bannock Ave. Police have confirmed to FOX 5 that a 22-year-old Hispanic man was shot multiple times in the chest before noon Sunday.
Law enforcement said Monday morning that preliminary findings in the investigation indicate that the victim had a brief confrontation with two men in the park before the shooting. During the confrontation, the suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim multiple times before running south with his companion.
“This is an isolated incident that occurred at the far south end of the park. So I don’t think it was related to anything that occurred at the rec center per se other than it happened here. But we are looking at all angles at this point,” said Lt. Steve Shebloski with the San Diego Police Department.
Officers said the victim was with two other people when the shooting happened, in proximity to other families in the park.
“I come every single day at least twice. I work across from here so pretty much at the park all the time,” said Jerry Lara, a neighbor who lives near where the shooting took place. Lara said there has been some suspicious activity like vandalism, but otherwise uneventful.
Police said they have received a description of the suspects from witnesses, but will not release them until they conduct further interviews.
The victim has been identified by law enforcement and will not be released at this time, pending family notifications.
Vanessa Mendoza, who has known the victim since they were six years old, showed up to the park Monday morning, crying and in disbelief.
“I just miss my homie. He went to this elementary school,” Mendoza said to FOX 5. “We always use to kick it here when we were little. But honestly, I just feel like I cannot believe it.”
Authorities used helicopters to search for the suspects while broadcasting down to the neighborhood.
The park and recreation center have been reopened.