Murder charges filed against man who allegedly shot sleeping neighbor

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SAN DIEGO — Murder and other felony charges were filed Wednesday against a 20-year-old probationer who allegedly fired a gunshot toward his brother, missing him but inadvertently killing a next-door neighbor asleep in his bed.

Manuula Save is accused in the Saturday morning death of Michael Walker, 38, who was shot around 1:45 a.m. by a bullet that traveled through a bedroom wall in the defendant’s apartment and into the victim’s unit in the 13400 block of Midland Road in Poway. Walker was hit once in the abdomen and died at a hospital about an hour later.

Save faces life imprisonment if convicted of murder, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, assault with a semi-automatic firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said the shooting stemmed from a verbal argument and physical fight between Save and his older brother.

“They wrestled and the physical fight ended. The brother sat down on the bed in that bedroom. The defendant retrieved a firearm and fired in the direction of his brother to scare him and show him he wasn’t scared of him. That bullet traveled through the wall of that bedroom into the adjacent apartment of 38-year-old Michael Walker. He was sleeping in the bedroom that was up against that shared wall. He woke up when he received a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was transported to the hospital and unfortunately passed within an hour of his arrival,” Nikoletich said.

Save then allegedly hid the 9mm firearm, which he was not allowed to possess due to a previous hit-and-run conviction involving the death of an elderly woman, Nikoletich said. For that case, Nikoletich said Save was sentenced to probation.

Save has been charged with murder due to “the defendant’s conscious disregard for human life,” Nikoletich said.

Save, who’s being held in lieu of $3 million bail, is due back in court Aug. 29 for a readiness conference.

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