A 22-year-old Lemon Grove man was arrested on suspicion of murder and other charges after a shooting spree in Encanto, Bay Terraces and Spring Valley, police said Saturday.
The suspect, identified as Jaime Gonzalez, was booked into San Diego Central Jail at 4:24 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of one felony count of murder, five felony counts of attempted murder, and additional firearms-related charges, according to booking records.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.
Police responded at 8:26 p.m. Friday to reports of a shooting in the 6200 block of Akins Avenue in the Encanto neighborhood. Officers found four male juveniles who had been shot at by a suspect, according to Lt. Steve Shebloski of the San Diego Police Department. Two of the juveniles were struck by gunfire. The first victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body and arms. That victim was described as a 15-year-old male.
The two other juveniles were shot at, but not struck by gunfire, the lieutenant said. Those two intended victims were a 15-year-old male and a 16- year-old male.
Officers performed life-saving measures on the two victims until paramedics from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department arrived and rushed them to hospitals for treatment. Both victims were expected to survive.
At 9:17 p.m. Friday, officers from the Southeastern Division responded to another shooting in the 1800 block of Manzana Way in Bay Terraces. Officers found two adult men suffering from gunshot wounds. One man, 34, sustained a gunshot wound to his upper body. The second man, 32, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and sharp force injures throughout his body.
Officers performed life-saving measures on the two victims until paramedics arrived. One victim was rushed to a local hospital and was expected to survive. The other victim suffered catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead at 9:37 p.m.
“After both of these shootings, officers received a detailed physical description of the suspect and his vehicle and it became apparent these shootings were likely related,” Shebloski said. “Officers saturated the area in an effort to locate the suspect before additional acts of violence could occur.”
At 9:45 p.m., police located a vehicle with an occupant matching the suspect description parked on 8100 Paradise Valley Road. Officers called for additional resources and arrested the suspect without incident. During the arrest, they allegedly found a semi-automatic 9mm handgun in the vehicle. The weapon recovered appeared to be a “ghost gun” firearm, police said.
During the investigation, officers learned of another shooting that occurred at 8:07 p.m. Friday in the 3100 block of Dovecrest Court in Spring Valley. That shooting appeared to involve the same suspect in the previous incidents, police said. Although the suspect shot at the victim, no one was struck by gunfire in that incident. That investigation was being handled by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Homicide detectives were called to the scenes and were taking the lead on investigating the multiple shootings, Shebloski said.
“Detectives have learned it appears the suspect essentially went on a shooting spree where he drove to different locations in the county and city of San Diego,” Shebloski said. “For reasons that remain uncertain at this time, it appears he targeted random groups of people. There does not appear to be a link between each of the victim groups. It seems the suspect randomly saw and selected each group, got out of his vehicle, and opened fire after approaching them on foot. At this point, it appears the suspect acted alone and there are no outstanding suspects.”
The dead man has been identified. However, his name was not immediately released pending family notifications. The names of the injured juveniles and adult victim will not be released, the lieutenant said.
Anyone with information about the shootings was asked to call the homicide unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
–City News Service