E Point Perfect

2nd Suspect Arrested in Gang-Related 2021 Murder of Woman in Emerald Hills

A San Diego Police Department patch
A San Diego Police Department patch on an officer’s uniform. Courtesy SDPD

A second suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a woman in the Emerald Hills neighborhood, San Diego Police reported Wednesday.

Michael Cunningham, 20, who was in custody in an unrelated case, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder in connection with the slaying of  44-year-old Tamara Dorena Shellum, who was found shot dead in her parked car on Bethune Court on May 9, 2021.

Police previously arrested 22-year-old Kenneth Earl Brooks on suspicion of killing Shellum.

Prosecutors allege that Brooks, a suspected gang member, was targeting rival gang members at the time, though Shellum was not a member of a gang.

Brooks was also arrested for allegedly taking part in another gang- related killing in the Emerald Hills neighborhood. He and co-defendant Tahjee Ector are accused in the May 31, 2020, shooting of 28-year-old Arif Abdalla on Lenox Drive.

Abdalla was also not a gang member, according to prosecutors, who alleged the killing was also part of a plan to target rivals. Abdalla died in a hospital about a week after the shooting.

Cunningham, who is being held without bail, is set to be arraigned in connection with Shellum’s death on Friday afternoon, according to county jail records. Brooks and Ector are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in August in connection with Abdalla’s death.

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