Man with child arrested on suspicion of killing 2 people in East Village high-rise

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SAN DIEGO — Two people were shot and killed at an East Village high-rise apartment building Thursday afternoon, police said, and a man with a child in his car was arrested on the freeway a short time later.

San Diego police say the victims were found shot in the living room of an apartment at 1475 Island Ave. The high-rise is called Spire San Diego — it’s one of two side-by-side high-rises in the area recognizable for their partially yellow and red facades (the other being Pinnacle on the Park).

Both victims — a man and a woman who were not publicly identified — were pronounced dead at the scene just after 3:30 p.m., San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said in an emailed news release. Their relationship to the suspect in the shooting is unknown to police.

About 15 minutes later, officers briefly blocked all traffic as they pulled over a black Jeep near the intersection of Interstates 15 and 805, east of Balboa Park.

A man was arrested on suspicion of carrying out the shooting, according to police, and a 5-year-old girl who had been riding in the vehicle was taken into protective custody. Police radio traffic recorded officers requesting a car seat for the girl, who officers said is the suspect’s daughter.

No other suspects are believed to be outstanding, according to Brown.

Back at the scene of the shooting, Island was closed to traffic in the immediate area and a significant number of officers were staged in and outside the building. Residents told FOX 5 they heard gunshots around 3 p.m. and that they weren’t being allowed back into their units during the investigation.

Spire resident Bernardo Bustamante told reporters that he lived on the building’s 34th floor and the shooting appeared to have happened one floor higher.

“We were leaving the house with our children and we were walking down to go to the elevator. We met our neighbor, who is on the floor above us,” he said, standing among the stranded residents outside the building. “The doors opened, we were at the bottom floor here at the lobby, and we were met by San Diego PD. They had their rifles out, their guns out, and they were kind of securing all exits. They pulled us out of the elevator real fast.”

“They did a great job,” Bustamante added. “They got us out with a lot of calm.”

Those with information about the shooting are asked to call the San Diego police Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

A line of police vehicles behind a Jeep on Interstate 15, which was briefly blocked to all traffic as part of an investigation into an East Village shooting, police said.

FOX 5’s Dillon Davis contributed to this report.

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