Man gunned down in store parking lot after argument

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SAN DIEGO -- Authorities sought Friday two people who were seen running off after a man was shot to death during an argument in a department store parking lot in La Mesa.

A witness told police that a shot was fired during a verbal altercation involving three people outside the Burlington Coat Factory in a shopping center on El Cajon Boulevard near Baltimore Drive around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, then one of them fell to the ground. The two others fled the scene afterward, said La Mesa police Lt. Chad Bell.

Arriving police officers attempted to revive the wounded man, but he died at the scene, Bell said. The victim's name was withheld pending family notification.

One of the suspects seen running from the parking lot was described as black, 20 to 25 years old, about 6 feet tall and 160 pounds. He had short hair and was wearing a white collared shirt and black shorts. His companion was black, 18 to 20, about 5 feet 3 and 130 pounds with long hair wrapped in a bun. That person was wearing a dark red shirt and black shorts.

Anyone with information on the case was asked to call police at 619-667-1400. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477, or by contacting the agency online at

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