<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usSat, 30 Jul 2016 12:24:19 -0700Sat, 30 Jul 2016 12:24:19 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mayor, SDPD Chief to Discuss Deadly Police Shooting]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 12:07:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Mourns-0729-11.jpg

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Chief Shelley Zimmerman will discuss the shooting of two police officers Saturday – a shooting that shocked the city and left one of the beloved officers dead.

Faulconer and Zimmerman will speak at noon outside UC San Diego Medical Center, where the surviving officer is still recovering. NBC 7 will bring you that news conference live here.

On Thursday, at around 11 p.m., SDPD Elite Gang Unit officers Jonathan “JD” DeGuzman, 43, and Wade Irwin, 32, were on duty in San Diego’s Southcrest community, south of downtown. As the officers conducted a traffic stop in the 3700 block of Acacia Grove Way near Boston Avenue, they were fired upon.

Within seconds, the officers called for cover.

Dozens upon dozens of law enforcement officers raced to the scene, blanketing the neighborhood with patrol cars, sirens blaring. When backup officers arrived, they discovered both DeGuzman and Irwin suffering from gunshot wounds.

DeGuzman was rushed in a police patrol car to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. The officer – a 16-year-veteran of the force – died shortly thereafter.

Irwin – a nine-year veteran of the department – was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery. Zimmerman said Irwin is expected to survive. His wife has been by his side as he recovers. They are parents to a 19-month-old baby.

The heartbreaking loss of Irwin’s partner was felt by the entire police department, Zimmerman said. The chief called the killing of DeGuzman “senseless.”

“I can’t begin to put in words the emotions and feelings that surround an event like this. This is one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching situations for police officers to go through," the chief said at a somber news briefing Friday morning.

On Friday evening, Zimmerman identified Jesse Michael Gomez, 52, as the suspect in the shooting of the officers. He was taken into custody shortly after the shooting in a ravine in the 1300 block of 38th Street. The chief said another “possible” suspect is Marcus Antonio Cassani, 41.

Cassani was arrested for an outstanding warrant Friday after an hours-long standoff at a home on 41st and Epsilon streets in Shelltown. At this point, it is still unclear is Cassani was involved in the shooting of the officers.

Zimmerman said the shooting occurred extremely quickly – within “seconds to a minute or so.” Both DeGuzman and Irwin were wearing personal body cameras on their uniforms and the chief said “there is video evidence” on those cameras.

With the preliminary investigation underway, Zimmerman said details of the shooting could change. On Friday, the chief did not say whether the shooting was an ambush.

Sources told NBC News the suspects are believed to belong to a local San Diego gang and there is no indication at this stage of the investigation that the officers were specifically targeted, as in recent incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge that collectively claimed the lives of eight officers.

Zimmerman said DeGuzman was a loving, caring family man who “came to work every single day just wanting to make a positive difference in his community.”

The deadly shooting is a grim reminder of the dangers police officers face in the line of duty every day.

“Police officers go out every single day, that wear a badge with pride. We all took an oath to protect and serve all of our communities. To have this happen to our police officers – we’ve seen this happen way too many times just in these last few weeks across our great country. It is tragic for everyone," Zimmerman said Friday.

Saturday’s news conference will be the first time Faulconer has spoken to reporters and the city about the tragedy.

The mayor was out of town at the time of the shooting and Zimmerman was on the phone with him throughout Friday, giving him updates, as he made his way back to San Diego.

On Friday morning, the mayor did release this statement:

“Last night we lost one of San Diego’s finest. We grieve for our fallen officer and stand with his family during this very difficult time. We also pray for the second officer shot last night as he recovers from surgery. Violence against the men and women who wear the badge is violence against us all. I ask all San Diegans and all people across our nation to join together in support of our officers who courageously protect our communities. We need them and they need us.”

The last time an SDPD officer was killed in the line of duty was in 2011, when Officer Jeremy Henwood was shot in San Diego's City Heights community. Since 1913, the city has lost 33 officers in the line of duty.

Photo Credit: Diana Guevara/NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Mourns Slain SDPD Officer]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 11:30:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Mourns-0729-4-Crop-Thumbnail.jpg Two San Diego Police Department officers with the force's Elite Gang Unit, Officer Jonathan "JD" DeGuzman and Officer Wade Irwin, were gunned down in Southcrest during a traffic stop on July 28, 2016. DeGuzman died from wounds suffered in the shooting. Irwin survived, but remains hospitalized. San Diegans are mourning the deadly shooting of the officers -- violence that SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman called simply "senseless."

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[1 Arrested for Stealing SDPD Patrol Car]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 10:26:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Generic-night-102915.jpg

A man was arrested early Saturday morning for allegedly stealing a San Diego Police Department (SDPD) patrol car, officials said.

According to the police department, officers were investigating a DUI accident around 5:15 a.m. at College Grove Way.

There, a man – claiming to be a witness – approached the officers under the ruse that he had information related to the accident.

Suddenly, police said the man jumped into one of the patrol cars, an SUV, and sped off. The suspect drove northbound on a nearby freeway and eventually wound up eastbound on State Route 56 in Carmel Valley.

Officers set up spike strips to stop the suspect, flattening the tires of the SUV.

At around 5:45 a.m., the suspect finally came to a stop in the stolen police vehicle in the 10000 block of Rancho Carmel Drive, officials said. He was taken into custody.

His name and further details were not immediately released. No one was injured in the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Lose Dickerson, Home Run Streak in Shutout to Reds]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:06:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DickersonHR.jpg

The Padres home run streak began after a 3-0 shutout in Cincinnati.

The Padres home run streaks ends after being shutout by Cincinnati.

After tying a National League record with the 1998 Atlanta Braves for most consecutive games with a home run, the Padres streak is over at 25-games.

Reds starter Brandon Finnegan shutout the Padres on just four hits over six-innings on his way to the win.

Third baseman Eugenio Suarez gave him all the offense he needed. Suarez had a two-run double in the first inning that extended the Reds lead to 4-0 and added a two-run single in the fifth to tie a career mark of four RBI.

The biggest hit of the night didn’t come off Suarez’s bat, but in the Padres outfield.

With one-out in the top of the first, Padres left fielder Alex Dickerson and center fielder Travis Jankowski collided on a shot to left center by Zack Cozart. Jankowski slid and Dickerson flew over him landing hard on his right hip.

The Poway native, who set a franchise rookie record homering in four-straight games leading up to tonight, had to leave the game with a right hip contusion.

Padres lost 6-0. It’s the 12th time they’ve been shutout this season, an MLB high.

Christian Friedrich takes the hill for the Padres Saturday against Anthony DeSclafani. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hazmat Called to Coronado Naval Base for Gas Leak]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 23:05:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/07-29-16+Coronado+Naval+Base.jpg

Hazmat was called to Coronado Naval Base Friday night for a gas leak, the naval base confirmed.

The leak started in building 472 but it's unclear at what time. The area was blocked off about 100 feet in every direction as a precaution.

People on the base were asked to close windows and doors and shelter-in-place.

It's unclear what caused the gas leak.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Local Law Enforcement Community Reflects on Deadly Shooting]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 21:49:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Officers-Shot-0729-12.jpg

The grim events in San Diego’s Southcrest area Thursday night are all-too-fresh evidence of how risky police work can be.

The city has now lost 33 officers in the line of duty, dating back to 1913.

Jonathan DeGuzman’s shooting death during a traffic stop was the department’s first on-duty fatality in nearly five years.

Coming as it did in the wake of deadly police ambushes in Baton Rouge and Dallas, there's concern among those in uniform about a recent uptick in police casualties becoming "the new normal".

“These things have to stop,” said retired SDPD Sgt. Bill Nemec, former president of the San Diego Police Officers Association. “These activists who are calling for the death of police officers -- we have to stop this kind of talk. This has gone beyond rhetoric."

Nemec was on the force to see more than half of the city's officers who have been killed on duty buried.

Between 1977 and 1985, ten officers died in the line of duty, ten by gunfire, prompting speculation that San Diego's finest maybe were too "laid-back".

Before long, a series of fatal shootings on the part of officers raised concerns about an unspoken "no more Mister Nice Guy" approach in the ranks.

Now, decades later, law enforcement has been coming in the crosshairs more frequently, with 34 peace officers nationwide shot to death so far this year -- versus 42 for all of 2015.

“The men and women get into law enforcement knowing the risks that they'll face, on a somewhat regular basis, unfortunately,” retired Chula Vista police captain Gary Wedge said.

“But they never fully appreciate that 'it could happen to me',” Wedge added. “When something like this happens, it reminds us in law enforcement how vulnerable we are. But what I also think tends to get lost in that is the support the community gives."

Law enforcement’s “top brass" fervently hope that people appreciate how quickly their badge-wearing protectors can become victims.

“[DeGuzman’s slaying] happened in just a matter of seconds,” Sheriff William Gore observed in an interview Friday. “And within a matter of seconds [the gunman] was able to shoot one officer in the throat and fatally wound another officer. And that happened in a split-second."

One scary, trending theme sounded by officers who routinely work the streets is how much mental illness is “out there” these days and if society doesn't get a better handle on it, more of them -- as well as the average citizen -- will be in harm's way.

"I don't think the officers nowadays have the support of the Justice Department,” Nemec told NBC 7. “And in some cases, local government has to step up. The officers are understaffed, they're overworked, and they're asked to do more and more."

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Local High School Teacher Sentenced; Had Sex with Student]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:50:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/07-29-16++Toni+Sutton+Sentencing.JPG

A high school Spanish teacher who pleaded guilty to having sex with a student was sentenced to 2 years in jail on Friday.

On June 18, Toni Sutton, 38, admitted to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of oral copulation with a minor.

Sutton, a Spanish teacher and volleyball coach at Crawford High School was arrested in January for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year old student. The victim’s parent contacted police after discovering inappropriate text messages between Sutton and the student.

During Friday’s sentencing, the victim’s mother became emotional reading a letter from her son.

“I don’t know how to feel. I don’t whether to be angry or sad,” Loretta read in court. “My whole life has been turned upside down since this happened.”

She went on to say that her son was not the outgoing person he had been before. and that he blamed himself for what happened.

“I thought that I could trust this teacher with my son but I was wrong,” Loretta told the Judge on Friday.

Loretta says although Sutton was only sentenced to two years in prison, she’s happy that justice was served.

“I probably would never forgive but I hope she gets the help she needs so it doesn’t happen to another child,” she told NBC 7.

Loretta also advised other parents to pay more attention to their kids’ social media and to listen to them.

“You know, maybe they’re trying to tell you something but in everyday life, we’re so busy to where we could hear what our children say but we’re not listening,” she said.

Sutton was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Fatally Shot Received Purple Heart From SDPD]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:51:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/deguzman.PNG

A 16-year San Diego police veteran killed in the line of duty Thursday night was previously attacked by a suspect and received a Purple Heart from the department twelve years ago.

Jonathan DeGuzman, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Southcrest Thursday, was stabbed in 2003 after he stopped a parolee for speeding in City Heights.

DeGuzman intended to give the man a warning for going 30 mph in a 25 mph zone, but the driver, Carl Thompson, got out of his car and stabbed DeGuzman in the shoulder. When he tried to stab DeGuzman again, the officer shot Thompson in the hip. Thompson was convicted of attempted murder on a peace officer in 2004.

Former chief of police William Lansdowne presented DeGuzman with his Purple Heart, given to officers injured in the line of duty. Lansdowne said DeGuzman was “special” to him.

“I found him to be very calm and dedicated,” Lansdowne told NBC 7. “I was very much impressed. He wanted to be a police officer. He was excited about the job, and he wanted to work in the high profile job. That’s how he got to the gang unit. He did an incredible job there. I am going to miss him, like everyone else I am going to miss JD.”

DeGuzman was a husband and a father of two children. 

On Friday, Heritage Elementary School in Chula Vista issued a statement to the parents of students, informing them of DeGuzman's death. The school stated that DeGuzman was a "quality, involved parent" that many other parents knew and interacted with.

Photo Credit: San Diego Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Arrested in Shooting of 2 SDPD Officers ID'd]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 17:38:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sdpd_briefing_update_1200x675_734859331800.jpg

The suspect arrested in connection to the shooting of two San Diego police officers and a potential suspect were identified Friday.

Jesse Michael Gomez, 52, was taken into custody after two police officers were shot, San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Chief Shelley Zimmerman told reporters at a press conference Friday.

Officer Jonathan "JD" DeGuzman, 43, a 16-year veteran of the force was shot and killed Thursday night. Officer Wade Irwin, 32, a 9-year veteran is still recovering in the hospital. Both officers are part of the force's Elite Gang Unit.

Zimmerman says she visited Officer Irwin and his family in the hospital on Friday. He is now awake and expected to make a full recovery.

Police took Gomez into custody shortly after the shooting. He was found in a ravine in the 1300 block of 38th Street, according to Zimmerman. He had suffered a gunshot wound and was in critical condition as of 11 a.m. Friday. 

Zimmerman also named Marcus Antonio Cassani as the second potential suspect in connection to the shooting. He was arrested on the 4000 block of Epsilon Street Friday morning for an outstanding warrant.

According to Zimmerman, it is unknown if Cassani was involved in the shooting.

<![CDATA[Padres Send Cashner, Rea to the Marlins]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:10:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/usa-andrew-cashner-marlins.jpg

This season has been like the Twilight Zone for Padres fans.

Usually the offense is holding back a solid Padres pitching staff, but this year it’s the other way around. And today, two Opening Day starters got traded to the Miami Marlins.

Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea, along with minor league relief pitcher Tayron Guerrero, went to the Marlins in a seven-player trade with Josh Naylor, Jarred Cosart, Carter Capps and Luis Castillo coming to the Padres organization.

Cashner has struggled this season but his last three starts have been his best of the year. The 29-year old right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA in 16 starts. The former first rounder drafted 19th overall by the Chicago Cubs in 2008 has struggled with location this season.

So has 26-year old righty Colin Rea. In 19 games (18 starts), Rea is 5-5 with an ERA of 4.98. The Indiana State University product had spent his entire career in the Padres organization after being drafted in the 12th-round in 2011.

Tayron Guerrero is the final Friars piece heading to Miami. The 25-year old minor league relief pitcher has 32 outings between the Padres Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso teams. The Columbia native made his Major League debut this season with a relief appearance against the San Francisco Giants in May. Guerrero went two-innings giving up three-hits and one earned run taking the loss.

In return, the Padres are continuing to add pitching depth and an infielder.

Carter Capps has four-years of big league experience between the Marlins and Seattle Mariners. The 25-year old relief pitcher is currently on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing season ending Tommy John surgery this March. Capps has a career 3.99 ERA with 23 hold and has only given up 15 home runs in 135.1 innings pitched.

Jarred Cosart is the one who should make the quickest impact with his new club. With Cashner, Rea, Drew Pomeranz and James Shields all gone (along with Opening Day starter Tyson Ross who’s on the DL), Cosart is expected to slide into the new Padres rotation with Christian Friedrich, Luis Perdomo, Edwin Jackson and Paul Clemens.

In 58 MLB games, Cosart is 16-18 between the Houston Astros and Marlins with 3.69 ERA. His time in the big leagues has had mixed results but the 26-year old who is 3-5 with a 4.14 ERA this season gives the Padres options.

The Padres also get two Single-A players in pitcher Castillo and infielder Naylor. Castillo was named a 2016 Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star and is ranked as the Marlins number six prospect by MLB.com. He’s 7-3 with a 2.25 ERA racking up 84 strikeouts with just 15 walks this season.

Infielder Naylor was named a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star after hitting .269 with nine home runs, 54 RBI and 42 runs scored in just 89 games in Greensboro. The 19-year old who the Marlins drafted 12th overall in 2015 was Miami’s number one prospect according to Baseball America and the 100th overall prospect.

In addition to players, the Padres are essentially paying the salaries of Cashner and Rea for the rest of the season and the Marlins are doing the same with Capps and Cosart.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[‘You Can Feel the Effect’: Witnesses on Shooting of Officers]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 23:24:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Officers-Shot-0729-3.jpg

Residents of San Diego’s Southcrest community were plagued by uneasiness Friday after two San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officers were shot during a late-night traffic stop, one of them killed by the gunfire.

“[This] is a little scary. You can feel the effect,” Southcrest resident Virginia Williams told NBC 7. “When it’s far away, you feel the effect. When it’s right in your backyard – it touches you deeply. It’s almost as if it could be one of your own family members. My heart goes out to all the fallen officers’ families and all the gun violence on both ends.”

SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said two officers with the department’s Elite Gang Unit -- Officer Jonathan "JD" DeGuzman, 43, and Officer Wade Irwin, 32 -- were conducting a traffic stop in the 3700 block of Acacia Grove Way near Boston Avenue when, suddenly, they were fired upon. The officers stopped their car and immediately called for cover.

DeGuzman – a husband and father of two – was rushed to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest in an SDPD patrol car, but succumbed to his injuries. Irwin as seriously wounded and underwent surgery early Friday morning at UC Medical Center. He’s also a husband and father. Zimmerman said he is expected to survive.

Following the shooting, dozens of law enforcement officers swarmed Southcrest. A manhunt was launched for the suspects, with police helicopters and patrol cars scouring the neighborhood. One suspect, later identified to be 52-year old Jesse Michael Gomez, was arrested in a ravine in the 1300 block of 38th Street.

The search pressed on for additional possible suspects, police lights blaring.

Southcrest resident Francisco Navaloez told NBC 7 he couldn’t believe how many officers lined the streets. He had just gotten out of the shower when he heard the police helicopter overheard and saw the bright lights of patrol cars outside his home. He walked outside to get a better view.

“I kid you not, about 50 cop cars rolled up,” Navaloez recounted.

He said he also saw at least 20 police officers, service weapons in hand, running down the street.

“I never experienced anything like this, where it feels like the military kind of rolled up. The police just kind of swarmed the streets,” said Navaloez. “I feel safe knowing the cops showed up that fast but, you know, I feel a little uneasy.”

He said officers from various agencies were in the neighborhood. Navaloez said he has a three-year-old daughter and this incident makes him anxious for the safety of his family and makes him want to move out of the neighborhood.

NBC 7 San Diego viewer Raul Meza, who lives near Interstate 5, said he also saw a multitude of police cars racing down the freeway as officials descended on Southcrest. There were so many police vehicles, he lost count.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Meza said on NBC 7’s Facebook page.

Another San Diegan, Melissa Sumera, also commented on NBC 7’s Facebook page about the “continuous sirens” she heard around 11 p.m. as police made their way to Boston Avenue to provide back-up for their fellow officers.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer released a statement Friday morning about the tragedy that struck the SDPD. He said San Diego is grieving with the police department.

His statement, in part, read: “Violence against the men and women who wear the badge is violence against us all. I ask all San Diegans and all people across our nation to join together in support of our officers who courageously protect our communities. We need them and they need us.”

Meanwhile, flowers and candles were left behind at SDPD headquarters in downtown San Diego, at a plaque dedicated to fallen officers. At one point, a San Diego resident stopped to pray at the plaque.

The City of San Diego said all flags at city facilities would fly at half-staff as a tribute to the fallen and injured officer.

As of 8:10 a.m. Friday, SWAT officers had surrounded a home at 41st and Epsilon streets in Shelltown, in search for another possible suspect. That standoff ended several hours later. Soon, a second standoff ensued at 41st and Delta streets.

Marcus Antonio Cassani was identified as the second potential suspect in connection to the shooting. He was arrested on the 4000 block of Epsilon Street for an outstanding warrant, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman confirmed Friday during a press conference.

It's unclear if Cassani was involved in the shooting.

Sources told NBC News the suspects involved in this shooting are believed to be part of a San Diego gang. At this point in the investigation, there is no indication that the SDPD officers were specifically targeted or ambushed, as in recent incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge, which collectively claimed the lives of eight officers in those cities.

Photo Credit: Calvin Pearce/NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[SDPD Officers in Deadly Shooting Are Husbands, Fathers]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 22:57:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Officers-DeGuzman-Irwin.jpg

The two San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officers who were shot Thursday night during a traffic stop in Southcrest are both husbands and fathers, deeply dedicated to serving and protecting, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.

Officer Jonathan DeGuzman, 43, was rushed in a squad car to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. The father of two did not survive. He was a 16-year veteran of the SDPD and a family man, according to Zimmerman.

On Friday, Heritage Elementary School in Chula Vista issued a statement to the parents of students, informing them of DeGuzman's death. The school stated that DeGuzman was a "quality, involved parent" that many other parents knew and interacted with.

“In full uniform, kids would flock around him. He was an active parent, an amazing father. Chula Vista is mourning for him,” Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendant Francisco Escobedo told NBC 7

Escobedo says DeGuzman was a role model for kids and had been active in several school clubs and loved the children.

"We have a family that doesn't have a father, doesn't have a husband," Escobedo said.

He told NBC 7 that the community was shocked to hear the news of DeGuzman's passing.

"We all feel it. We felt the loss and it's very tragic," he said.

Escobedo says DeGuzman was a tue hero.

"[We're missing] a man who first, was great father, great teacher, and obviously an amazing police officer. We're missing a real American hero."

DeGuzman was awarded the police department’s Purple Heart in 2003 after being stabbed by a suspect he stopped for speeding. 

“I can tell you he is a loving, caring husband, father, talked about his family all the time,” SDPD Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said of DeGuzman in a news conference Friday morning. “I personally worked with him when I was a lieutenant at Mid-City Division. I know him. This is gut-wrenching. He cared. He came to work every single day just wanting to make a positive difference in his community.”

Zimmerman called his killing "senseless" and said the only thing the officers were trying to do was protect the community.

The second officer wounded in the shooting, Wade Irwin, 32, survived and was taken to UC Medical Center, also in Hillcrest, where he underwent surgery.

Although he is in serious condition, he is expected to recover, according to Zimmerman. Irwin and his wife, who has not left his side, have a 19-month-old baby. By Friday afternoon Zimmerman said Irwin was resting comfortably and was awake. He has been informed of his partner's death, according to Zimmerman. Irwin has been with the department for nine years.

"It's a long haul until he makes a full recovery, but the good news is that he is going to survive, and he is going to recover," Zimmerman said.

The chief said Irwin has not yet been interviewed about the deadly shooting. She said the officers were both wearing body cameras and added, "there is video evidence."

Both DeGuzman and Irwin were officers in the department’s gang suppression unit. DeGuzman had been in the unit for a couple of years, while Irwin joined in June.

The officers were conducting a pedestrian or traffic stop around 11 p.m. Thursday in the 3700 block of Acacia Grove Way, near Boston Avenue, when they were shot. They called for cover, and dozens upon dozens of law enforcement officers swarmed the area.

Two men were in custody by Friday afternoon. Jessie Michael Gomez, 52, was arrested for murder and attempted murder, and Marcus Antonio Cassani, 41, a “potential suspect,” was arrested for an outstanding warrant. It is unclear if Cassini was involved in the shooting.

Funeral service arrangements are pending. The San Diego Police Officers Association has established a fund for Officer DeGuzman’s family. Donations can be mailed to:

San Diego Police Officers Association

8388 Vickers Street, San Diego, CA 92111

Checks can be made payable to the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA). Please write “Officer Jonathan DeGuzman” in the memo line. All donations will go directly to the family. The SDPOA is also accepting online donations through their website.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: San Diego Police Department
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<![CDATA[Police Agencies, Politicians Pay Tribute After Officer Shootings]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 12:42:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/Screen+Shot+2016-07-29+at+1.05.20+AM.png

Law enforcement agencies across the country, politicians, police unions and pastors lit up social media and issued statements after two San Diego police officers were shot on Thursday night.

Officer Jonathan DeGuzman was killed in the shooting and Officer Wade Irwin was seriously hurt.

A flood of tributes poured in on Twitter, as law enforcement agencies learned of the news.

"It's a sad day for us all," National City police tweeted on Friday morning.

Others showed solidarity and even politicians took to social media to express heartbreak over the shootings.

The San Diego Police Officers Association issued a statement that it was "grief stricken" over the loss of DeGuzman.

The association asked for the public to donate to DeGuzman's family by mailing donations to the San Diego Police Officers Association at 8388 Vickers St., San Diego, CA 92111.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a statement the shootings "sent a shock wave through law enforcement and the wider San Diego Community."

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer echoed Dumanis' sentiment, saying "violence against the men and women who wear the badge is violence against us all."

Congressman Scott Peters, D-Calif., sent these condolences:

"The loss of one of our police officers is a loss for all of San Diego. I send my deepest condolences to the officer's family and loved ones, and prayers for the full recovery of the wounded officer."

Here's more on how police and politicians paid tribute.


If you are on a mobile device, you can check out the social media posts here.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[MCAS Miramar Pilot Killed in Aircraft Crash in California]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 12:33:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MCAS-Miramar-generic-0801.jpg

A pilot based out of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in San Diego was killed in an F/A-18C Hornet crash in Twentynine Palms, California, U.S. Marine Corps officials said Friday.

The Marine Corps said the Third Marine Aircraft Wing pilot – whose name was not immediately released – died in the accident at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. No further details were released.

Twentynine Palms is located in San Bernardino County, about 175 miles northeast of San Diego County.

Photo Credit: Megan Tevrizian
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<![CDATA[2 Police Officers Shot in San Diego]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:01:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Officers-Shot-0729-1.jpg Two San Diego Police Department officers with the Elite Gang Unit were shot during a late-night traffic stop in San Diego's Southcrest neighborhood. One officer died, while the second was seriously wounded. Officials arrested one suspect and launched a manhunt for possible additional suspects.

Photo Credit: Calvin Pearce/NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Named in Officer's Killing]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 10:48:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Officers-Shot-0729-2.jpg

A San Diego Police Department officer has died and another officer remains hospitalized after a late-night shooting during a traffic stop just south of downtown San Diego. Both officers are part of the force's Elite Gang Unit.

On Friday evening, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman named Jesse Michael Gomez, 52, as the suspect linked to the shooting. Gomez is in police custody. The chief identified Marcus Antonio Cassani as a "possible" suspect in the case, though police have yet to confirm if Cassani had any involvement in the shooting.

At an earlier new briefing Friday, Zimmerman identified the officers who were gunned down as Jonathan "JD" DeGuzman, 43, a 16-year veteran of the force, and Wade Irwin, 32, a 9-year veteran.

DeGuzman died from wounds suffered in the shooting. Irwin is seriously wounded but is expected to survive.

"I can tell you [DeGuzman] is a loving, caring husband, father, talked about his family all the time," Zimmerman told reporters. "I personally worked with him when I was a lieutenant at Mid-City Division. I know him. This is gut-wrenching. He cared. He came to work every single day just wanting to make a positive difference in his community."

"I can’t begin to put in words the emotions and feelings that surround an event like this. This is one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching situations for police officers to go through," Zimmerman added.

According to the chief, Gomez was arrested shortly after the shooting Thursday night. He was found by police in a ravine in the 1300 block of 38th Street. According to reports from the Associated Press, a trail of blood led police to Gomez. Zimmerman said Gomez had suffered a gunshot wound.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, the suspect remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Police believed there many have been additional suspects tied to the shooting of the police officers. A manhunt was launched in Southcrest and surrounding areas, including San Diego's nearby Shelltown neighborhood. A shelter-in-place order was issued to some residents as police scoured the area just west of where Interstate 15 and Interstate 5 meet, near Barrio Logan and Logan Heights. 

The manhunt continued into Friday morning as authorities used a helicopter, SWAT vehicles and patrol cars.

At around 8:10 a.m. Friday, officers surrounded a home in Shelltown, at 41st and Epsilon streets, honing in on another possible suspect.

A standoff unfolded, which continued for several hours.

SWAT officials could be heard calling out to someone inside the home, Cassini, saying, "Come to the door. It's been a long night."

The sounds of dozens of flash bangs filled the air as the SWAT standoff unfolded. Negotiators continued calling out to Cassini: "No one is going to hurt you. This has gone on long enough."

"We hear you coughing in there," SWAT officials called out. "We know you're hurting in there. Man up. This isn't going to get any easier."

About three hours into the standoff, officials outfitted themselves with masks and began running hoses into the house, getting ready to dispense tear gas.

At 12:20 p.m., it appeared SWAT officers were making entry into the home. NBC 7 crews could hear glass shattering at the scene as officers entered the house from a back door.

About an hour later, the standoff ended. Police confirmed Cassini had been taken into custody for an outstanding warrant at that location, dubbed a "possible" suspect by investigator.

Shortly thereafter, just before 2 p.m., police officers surrounded a second home in the Shelltown area, at 41st and Delta streets, in search for additional possible suspects. That SWAT situation soon ended, and no arrests were made.

Leading up to the manhunt and standoffs, here's how Thursday night's officer shootings unfolded: DeGuzman and Irwin were conducting the traffic stop shortly before 11 p.m. in the 3700 block of Acacia Grove Way near Boston Avenue in San Diego's Southcrest neighborhood when they were fired upon, Zimmerman said.

The chief said it is still unclear if the traffic stop was on a vehicle or a pedestrian. Shortly after stopping their car, the officers called for emergency cover. 

Additional law enforcement officers swarmed the area. They found both officers suffering from gunshot wounds.

DeGuzman, who suffered multiple wounds, was rushed in a patrol car to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. Doctors were unable to save his life. 

Irwin was taken to UC Medical Center, also in Hillcrest. At around 3:30 a.m., the officer had come out of surgery and was recovering, the police chief said. Irwin has a wife and 19-month-old toddler, Zimmerman said. 

"It's a long haul until he makes a full recovery, but the good news is that he is going to survive, and he is going to recover," Zimmerman said.

The mood at the hospital was somber as dozens of officers from all ranks came in and out of the building all morning. Zimmerman said the situation was simply heartbreaking for her police department. She too went in and out of the hospital, comforting the families of the officers.

Other SDPD leaders, including Asst. Chief Terry McManus and Capt. David Nisleit, also visited the hospital. As officers filed in, they greeted one another with hugs and pained expressions.

Zimmerman said the the shooting occurred "seconds to a minute or so," both officers were wearing personal body cameras, and "there is video evidence."

With the preliminary investigation underway, Zimmerman said details of what happened could change. At this point, however, the chief did not say whether the shooting was an ambush.

Sources told NBC News the suspects are believed to belong to a local San Diego gang and there is no indication at this stage of the investigation that the officers were specifically targeted, as in recent incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge that collectively claimed the lives of eight officers.

Meanwhile, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer released this statement Friday morning on the tragedy:

“Last night we lost one of San Diego’s finest. We grieve for our fallen officer and stand with his family during this very difficult time. We also pray for the second officer shot last night as he recovers from surgery. Violence against the men and women who wear the badge is violence against us all. I ask all San Diegans and all people across our nation to join together in support of our officers who courageously protect our communities. We need them and they need us.”

The National Action Network (NAN) San Diego , a community organization led by Reverend Shane Harris, released a statement regarding the shooting, "We condemn anyone who uses vengeance as a tool to kill innocent police or innocent victims."

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis also released a statement Friday morning which said, in part:

"This senseless act once again highlights the dangers our peace officers face on a daily basis as they work to ensure and protect the public’s safety. The District Attorney’s Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit is working closely with SDPD to investigate and review this case so those responsible for this cowardly act will be held accountable."

Zimmerman also called the shooting of her officers "senseless."

"Police officers go out every single day, that wear a badge with pride. We all took an oath to protect and serve all of our communities. To have this happen to our police officers. We've seen this happen way too many times just in these last few weeks across our great country. It is tragic for everyone," Zimmerman added.

The last time an SDPD officer was killed in the line of duty was in 2011, when Officer Jeremy Henwood was shot in San Diego's City Heights community.

Since 1913, the city has lost 33 officers in the line of duty.

Photo Credit: Calvin Pearce/NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[Hot-Air Balloon Carrying Married Couple Lands in Parking Lot]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 22:49:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/246*120/ezgif.com-resize+%281%291.gif

Talk about a wedding surprise.

Hundreds of feet up in the air, one couple had happily tied the knot when the hot air balloon they were inside was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Rancho Penasquitos.

The balloon landed around 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Sunset Hills Elementary School near Black Mountain Road.

Alex and Elena told NBC 7, the situation was surprising but they would do it all over again.

“We want to do it every year for our anniversary,” Elena said.

No one was injured in the landing and the pilot declined to comment.

The newly wed couple told NBC 7 that the landing may have been unscheduled but it was “very smooth”.

But they said they definitely were not planning on landing in a parking lot. Elena says now they just want to continue celebrating their marriage.

“We want to drink more champagne and celebrate,” Elena said.

<![CDATA[Family of Suspect in Attempted Kidnapping Says He's Innocent]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 23:11:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/7-28-16-UC-Runner-Attempted-Kidnapping.JPG

The family of a suspect accused of trying to use a stun gun to kidnap a jogger in University City told NBC 7, he is innocent.

Police arrested 21-year old Shayan Rahimi Thursday afternoon.

According to police, Rahimi allegedly asaulted the victim and used a stun gun on her, leaving her with burn marks on Wednesday morning. The incident happened on the 8200 block of Cargill Avenue and Nobel Drive in University City.

Police say the victim fought off her attacker and was able to get away. She told police the suspect had been driving a black four door Sedan with a Lyft sticker in the front window.

But Rahimi's mother and sister told NBC 7 that he is innocent.

According to his family, Rahimi is a student at San Diego Mesa College in Linda Vista and he works at Papa John’s Pizza.

“I am 100 percent sure he did not do this. He is my son. I know he didn't do this," Rahimi’s mother said. She told NBC 7 that she did not wish to be identified.

Rahimi was tracked down through the victim's description of his car.

“Very distinctive with the help of the detective going through the area they were able to actually find that vehicle,” northern Division Police Captain Mark Hanten said.

The family told NBC 7 that Rahimi only drove for the Lyft service twice and showed us a photo of another black car in the neighborhood that also had a Lyft sticker.

"It’s ridiculous to arrest my brother solely on the basis that he has a car with a Lyft sticker in it,” Rahimi’s sister said.

Rahimi's features were also matched to the description given by the victim.

“The attacker is described as a dark skinned Middle Eastern male with short dark hair with what she described as unique or very distinctive brown eyes," Northern division Lt. Adam Sharki said.

But a picture of Rahimi from July 3 showed that he had changed his hair color. Police have the dye packaging and receipt they found while searching the home.

“My son has blond hair now," his mother said. "And my daughter died his hair three weeks ago."

But despite the family arguments, police seem to be convinced they have arrested the right suspect.

Rahimi is behind bars pending assault and attempted kidnaping charges.

Investigators are now asking that the good Samaritan who aided the victim's escape come forward to help with the case.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Westbound I-8 and SR-125 Ramp Closures Begin Saturday Night]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:40:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dtour.jpg

The connector ramps from westbound Interstate 8 to northbound and southbound State Route 125 will see periodic weekend closures for the next four weeks.

Caltrans announced Thursday that the closure will last from 9 p.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday for four consecutive weekends beginning on July 30.

A detour will send westbound motorists to the Grossmont Center Drive/La Mesa Boulevard off-ramp, south on La Mesa Boulevard, then east on Grossmont Boulevard to northbound or southband SR-125.

Drivers may also continue on I-8 and exit at El Cajon Boulevard, get back onto I-8 heading east and then proceed to SR-125.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Checkups Show Pacific Pocket Mice Thriving After Relocation]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:53:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pacific+Pocket+Mouse_Full+Cheeks+08-04-13.jpg

Recent checkups on Pacific pocket mice reintroduced to their natural habitat show that the species is once again prospering.

San Diego Zoo Global staff released 50 Pacific pocket mice, a species on the brink of extinction, into Laguna Coast Wilderness Park about a month ago.

Zoo staff laid 237 traps over four days in order to catch the mice and conduct health and wellness checks.

Researchers were able to capture 24 of the 50 micro-chipped mice and found that male mice were reproductively ready while several of the female mice showed signs of approaching breeding cycles.

Before the mice were reintroduced to their habitat, man-made nesting chambers made of biodegradable material were put in place to provide the mice with initial shelter. Researchers used remote cameras to observe the mice.

Staff from the San Diego Zoo Institute of Conservation Research visits the release site three times per week to deliver a supplemental food source to the mice.

“It’s exciting that we were able to observe 48 percent of the Pacific pocket mouse population in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park during our first round of trappings,” San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research's Debra Shier said. “Overall, we’re really pleased with what we’re seeing.”

Pacific pocket mice weigh between six and seven grams, or about as much as three pennies, making them the smallest mouse species in North America.

The nocturnal seed eaters are critical to their ecosystem because they help disperse native plant seeds throughout the habitat. Their burrows also help aerate and hydrate the soil, which leads to increased nutrient cycling and growth of native vegetation.

The species was believed to be extinct in the 1980s until it was rediscovered in 1993. The Zoo’s relocation project is the first of its kind since a captive breeding program began in 2012.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]>
<![CDATA[Endangered Tiger Cubs Explore New Safari Park Habitat]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 21:28:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TigerCubsatZoo_1200x675_734382659621.jpg

Critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs -- just six months old -- got the chance to explore a new habitat Thursday, pouncing and sprinting around the greenery.

Mother Joanne and her three cubs, Cathy, Debbie and Nelson, let loose in the Tull Family Tiger Trail at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for the first time. Up until Thursday, the cubs had been roaming around the habitat's maternity yard.

Now, the cubs will be able to run, jump, climb trees and gain an increased awareness of their surroundings as they grow bigger and stronger.

“At six months old it’s time for these cubs to graduate to a much larger exhibit," said Lori Hieber, senior mammal keeper, in a statement. "Exhibit B is roughly double the size of the maternity yard the cubs are used to, it offers new fun obstacles and challenges to explore and it has a pretty deep pond that actually has live fish in it."

The habitat also has a pool, which which help teach the cubs how to swim. In the wild, tigers often have to swim long distances to cross rivers, get to their prey or find a mate.

In the wild, tigers face a number of challenges, from loss of habitat to poaching.

These cubs are part of a diminishing breed. Today, there are less than 350 Sumatran tigers in the wild. Scientists predict this species could be extinct in their native Sumatra by 2020, unless measures are taken to protect and preserve them.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is working to battle that extinction by participating in a collaborative breeding program to create assurance populations of the tigers. The Park helps provide funding for anti-poaching patrols.

Friday is Global Tiger Day and guests at the Safar Park can celebrate by enjoying special activities at the Tiger Trail exhibit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including tiger talks and a tiger training session. If you visit the park on Friday, you'll be able to see these adorable cubs in their new habitat!

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Add Regional Chamber To Downtown Stadium Lineup]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:52:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/Conceptual+Chargers+Stadium+Renderings+422+2016+6.PNG

The Chargers' push for a downtown stadium now has backing from some real political muscle.

San Diego's influential Regional Chamber of Commerce jumped on the Bolts' bandwagon Thursday, pointing toward a site near Petco Park in East Village.

The Chamber of Commerce boasts a membership of more than 4,000 businesses, large and small.

Among them are a number of bayfront and downtown hotels that oppose the stadium project -- along with a convention annex that would be part of it.

Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders announced the group’s endorsement during a late-morning news conference at Chargers Park in Murphy Canyon.

"A few of the key advantages of a downtown stadium include hosting future Super Bowls, continued revitalization of East Village, and adding capacity for convention business," Sanders told a gathering of journalists and stadium backers in the franchise’s auditorium.

Chargers chairman and co-owner Dean Spanos said: “I cannot tell you what this means to me personally, but I can tell you we would not have a chance of success without the support of the chamber.”

Early public opinion polls suggest the nearly $1.8 billion project would have trouble winning a simple majority in the November election, much less the two-thirds that state law requires for a tax raising measure.

It would add four percent to the city’s hotel tax bills, topping out at 16.5 percent.

The Chargers and NFL would bankroll about a third of the costs.

The team already has spent $5 million getting an initiative on the November ballot, and expects to spend much more on its campaign.

But critics say the higher room tax would put a damper on tourism and convention bookings and that trade groups prefer to have the Convention Center enlarged on-site -- not a few blocks away, next to a stadium.

"They're going to get this big tax increase that is not really going to go to pulling more tourists into San Diego,” says April Boling, an activist with an opposition group called “No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First”.

“In fact,” Boling added in an interview Thursday, “it's going to have the opposite impact when you start building this stadium and a non-contiguous convention center expansion."

Matt Awbrey a spokesman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, told NBC that "key financial issues" are still being examined by city officials and outside consultants.

“We are looking forward to additional analysis and information that is coming that will give great clarity on the project’s finances,” Awbrey said in a statement, “and ultimately whether this is a fair deal for taxpayers.”

If the Chargers’ initiative fails, there's another citizens’ ballot measure that could still pave the way for a stadium project.

However, that assumes its approval threshold is ruled – in an expected legal showdown – to be a simple majority, and it wins enough votes.

Photo Credit: MANICA Architecture]]>
<![CDATA[Local Civil Rights Group Calls for Councilwoman to Resign]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:06:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Myrtle-Cole-0412.jpg

A local civil rights group is calling for the resignation of San Diego City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole (Dist. 4) after she suggested police racial profiling is linked to black-on-black crime.

In an exclusive interview with NBC 7, Cole says her statement was “misunderstood” and apologized.

“Did I make a mistake? Absolutely, I did,” she said. “Do I apologize for it? Absolutely, I do. But I am not going anywhere.”

Cole, made the controversial comments during Tuesday's City Council meeting. They were in reference to a community meeting held on July 19th in Encanto in reponse to the violence involving police officers and the black community.

During the meeting, which was hosted by Cole, community members became heated, saying their needs were not being understood.

In Tuesday's council meeting, Cole said, in part: “Because blacks are shooting blacks, [police] are not going to stop a white male or a Hispanic male or Asian. They’re going to stop an African American because those are the ones who are shooting.”

You can watch the full video here.

Now, members of the local National Action Network are calling for Cole to resign, saying she doesn’t serve the community she represents.

“It’s a slap in the face to her district. These are her constituents. You are supposed to be hearing the voices of your people,” said Rev. Shane Harris, President of the National Action Network San Diego Chapter.

Protests are planned for Friday at Cole's office in Skyline as well as at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

“You can’t make these kinds of statements and affirm the police brutality and racial profiling around this country and stay in office,” Harris said.

But Cole told NBC 7, she will not resign from her position.

“I made one mistake, and you know. I just want them to accept my apology. I do apologize and if they do want to protest, that is their right,” Cole said.

In a statement sent to NBC 7, Cole wrote, in part: “I want to be clear in telling you, my community, that I condemn racial profiling in all forms and all instances. I do not condone racial discrimination by the police or any institution. Tackling inequality has always been a priority of mine, and it’s why I serve on the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee. I regret that I failed to communicate my position on racial injustice earlier this week.”

The statement continued to state that Cole hopes the community would remember her attributions and accept her apology.

This is the full statement.

<![CDATA[Apartment Fire in University City Knocked Down]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:06:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/7-28-16-University+City+Apartment+Fire.JPG

A plumber repairing an upstairs toiler prompted an accidental apartment fire in University City, which quickly spread to the attic and adjoining walls before crews knocked it down. 

The fire broke out on the 3900 block of Camino Calma around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, San Diego Fire-Rescue Officials (SDFD) said. 

When crews arrived, they could see smoke and fire rising from the second floor of a two-story condominium. Each condominum has four two-story units. 

The flames were contained to the one unit, but three other units were damaged by the fire as well. 

Crews knocked down the fire in 25 minutes. The unit where the fire broke out suffered heavy fire damage. 

Authorities on scene inspected the electricity to make sure it was not compromised in the fire. Once that is completed, residents will be let back into their units. 

Fire officials ruled the fire accidental, saying a plumber using a torch to complete repairs in an upstairs bathroom set off the fire. 

Sixteen people live in the four units, crews said, five of which live in the unit that suffered the most damage. The local Red Cross will assist those displaced with temporary housing and aid. 

The building suffered $400,000 in damage and there was $200,000 in damage to the contents of the unit. 

No injuries were reported. 

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Escondido Teen Arrested in Man's Shooting Death]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:40:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

An Escondido teen has been arrested in connection to the shooting death of a 27-year-old man in March, officials said.

Fabian Arellano of Escondido was shot just after midnight on March 16 in the area of Escondido Boulevard and Ninth Avenue. He was rushed to Palomar Medical Center, where he died, police said.

Investigators believe the shooting was gang related.

Escondido police detectives zeroed in on 18-year-old Javier Seda as a suspect.

Police said Seda fled to Mexico after the shooting; officers coordinated with federal agents in the U.S. and Mexico to apprehend him.

He is being held in the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of murder.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest Made After Jogger Attacked by Stun Gun: PD]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:31:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/7-28-16-UC-Runner-Attempted-Kidnapping.JPG

Police are asking a Good Samaritan who helped a 23-year-old jogger attacked by a stun gun in a kidnapping attempt to come forward and help with the investigation.

San Diego Police (SDPD) said the jogger was jogging near Cargill Avenue and Nobel Drive in University City Wednesday, just blocks from the Westfield UTC Mall, when a man got out of a car with a Lyft sticker and approached her, SDPD Capt. Mark Hanten said. Police would not reveal whether the suspect is a Lyft driver or not. 

The man, identified as 21-year-old Rahimi Baba Sheikhali Shayan, assaulted the victim and used a stun gun on her, leaving her with burn marks, Hanten said. 

The victim fought back, Hanten said, kicking and screaming before she managed to escape. 

It was then that the Good Samaritan stepped in. 

"Our victim ran out into the street and was trying to flag somebody down and the good Samaritan saw this, and recognized her as being distraught, stopped for her, allowed her to get in the car and drove away," said SDPD Capt. Mark Hanten.

The Good Samaritan helped the victim call police. She later left the scene. 

Hanten credited the victim's courageousness in the face of trauma with helping police nab the suspect so quickly. The victim helped give police accurate information that helped them find the suspect's car. 

The jogger told police the man was driving a black four door Sedan with a Lyft sticker in the front window.

Police found the car near the scene and shortly after found the suspect. As far as Hanten knows, he said, the suspect only has a traffic citation on his record. 

As the investigation continues, officers are asking people who may have witnessed the assault or who may know anything about the assault to give them a call. They're particularly asking for the Good Samaritan to come forward. 

"It would be great to have her come forward and possibly add something," police said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Stone’s Germany Facility Now Brewing]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:15:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Stone-Brewing-Berlin-Building.jpg

Stone Brewing’s long-awaited facility in Berlin, Germany is now officially up and running -- brewing and distributing beers, the San Diego-based company said Thursday.

According to Stone, the new facility is now distributing beers across 17 countries in Europe including Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland, to name a few.

With this, Stone has become the first U.S.-based craft brewery to independently build, own and operate a brewery in Europe, the company said.

“We are very excited that our state-of-the-art brewery is online and that kegging and canning are underway,” said Greg Koch, Stone CEO and co-founder, in a news release. “I’m proud of the job Team Stone has done…the facility is amazingly beautiful, the beers are tasting really incredible and this is a spectacular, monumental moment for American craft beer as a whole.”

Stone’s Director of Brewing Operations, Thomas Tyrell, 25, is running the Berlin venture. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Berlin is set to open to the public this summer.

Stone’s other current projects include a tap room planned for wine country in Napa, California, and Stone Brewing – Richmond, a 250-barrel brewhouse in Richmond, Virginia.

Stone Brewing is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Escondido-based company was founded by Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996 and is the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States.

Photo Credit: Stone Brewing]]>
<![CDATA[New Parking Rates Coming to San Diego Waterfront]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:02:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/IPS-Parking-Meter-San-Diego.jpg

Parking rates will soon increase at Shelter Island and new parking pay stations are going in downtown as part of a parking overhaul plan in San Diego.

The Port of San Diego is holding a public outreach meeting next week to discuss the changes at three downtown locations.

Port staff will be recommending metering changes to the Board of Port Commissioners for approval at its board meeting on Sept. 8.

The Port wants the community attend to learn more about the proposed changes and offer feedback.

The changes include parking rate increases on Shelter Island, new pay stations at Spanish Landing and new Smart Meter installation in the North Embarcadero Crescent.

If approved, Shelter Island parking rates would increase to $1.25 an hour, within the meter rate range of $1 to $2.50. The Port would also begin monitoring the meters on the island from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, instead of Monday through Saturday.

New pay stations at Spanish landing would also be installed, with rates ranging from $1 to $2.50 an hour and seven-day monitoring from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Finally, the North Embarcadero Crescent area near the intersection of Laurel and North Harbor Drive would see 54 new Smart Meters with a similar rate range of $1 to $2.50 per hour and seven-day monitoring from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4 in the Port Administration Building Training Room at 3165 Pacific Highway from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Revenue from parking meters helps fund Harbor Police Law Enforcement, 22 public parks, environmental conservation and public art.

Photo Credit: IPS ]]>
<![CDATA[Sheriff Responds to SDPD's 'Running Man Challenge']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:39:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Real+Running+Man+SDSO.JPG

The San Diego County Sheriff responded to the San Diego Police Department’s “Running Man Challenge” in a big, over-the-top way.

Sheriff Bill Gore posted his department’s own response to the challenge on social media on Thursday, showing off his deputies’ sweet dance moves.

You might remember that San Diego Police took on its counterparts at the sheriff’s department to the challenge last month.

The challenge, in case you haven’t seen the craze on the internet, entails a dance to the Ghost Town DJs song “My Boo” that incorporates the Running Man dance move of the 1990s.

In their “Running Man” video, sheriff’s employees took to the crime lab, the San Diego County Fair and the beach and even included their police tracking dogs and mounted patrol in the jig.

At one point in the 6-minute video, sheriff’s deputies even blow up an abandoned car. Way to go big!

At the end of the clip, Sheriff Gore challenges residents to “dig down in your pockets and give to your charity of your choice.” He said he plans to donate to Alzheimer’s San Diego in honor of former sheriff, Bill Kolender, who passed away last fall.

Photo Credit: San Diego Sheriff's Department
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<![CDATA[LIVE: Twenty One Pilots]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:09:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Twenty+One+Pilots+AM+%281+of+45%29.jpg "Schizophrenic pop" duo Twenty One Pilots went all 'blurryface' at Viejas Arena on July 24.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[United Kingdom Opening Office in San Diego]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:45:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/handshake_web.jpg

The United Kingdom plans to open an office in San Diego as part of an expansion intended to boost its investment opportunities and trade with the United States.

The San Diego location will be among three new offices in U.S. cities chosen “because of their economic productivity and well-established research and development institutions,” according to a news release from the British government. The other cities receiving new offices are Minneapolis and Raleigh, N.C.

Liam Fox, the UK’s secretary of state for international trade and president of its Board of Trade, announced the plan Tuesday in Chicago.

“I am delighted that we are opening a new office in San Diego,” Fox said. “Given its importance as a hub of research, life sciences, military and other key industries, it makes sense for the UK to strengthen our ties and work even more closely on trade and investment opportunities.”

Each of the offices is to be staffed by a single officer recruited in the United States. Besides promoting UK business and economic ties with the United States, they are intended to boost the two countries’ political relationship, according to the news release.

“The offices will be ideally placed to build relationships with key companies, politicians and educational (centers) and to support wider goals on economic reform, market access, innovation and climate change,” the release stated.

Other cities in which the UK has similar offices are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

According to the UK government, its Seattle office has supported about £8 million ($10.5 million) in investment during the past year, as well as 1,000 UK jobs.

Photo Credit: NBC Local Media
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<![CDATA[High School Music Teacher Accused of Sex With Former Student]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:29:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bonita-Vista-HS-Google.jpg

A high school music teacher in San Diego was arrested Wednesday, accused of having a sexual relationship with a male student five years ago – when that student was a teenager.

The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD), said Jason Mangan-Magabilin, 38, was taken into custody and booked into county jail on suspicion of nine counts of oral copulation with a minor under 18 and four other counts of sex with a minor.

Police said Mangan-Magabilin is a music teacher at Bonita Vista High School. The Sweetwater Union High School District is fully cooperating with the police investigation, the CVPD said Thursday. The school district is also conducting its own internal personnel investigation on the case.

Mangan-Magabilin referred NBC 7 San Diego to his lawyer for a statement, who said they are not ready to talk about the case yet. 

CVPD Capt. Lon Turner said the teacher’s alleged relationship happened five years ago with a former student, when that student was between 15 and 17 years old.

The victim recently reported the incident to police because of mandatory reporting at job training. 

Police told NBC 7 San Diego they have physical evidence in the case, but would not specify what physical evidence they have. 

Further details were not immediately released.

The Sweetwater Union High School District released this statement Thursday concerning the case:

"We appreciate that the public has many questions regarding the recent arrests in the District pertaining to alleged inappropriate contacts between students and staff. The District is currently actively working with law enforcement on each of these matters. The District is committed to assisting law enforcement and conducting thorough personnel investigations in each matter, so we are not able to provide further comment at this time."

"We appreciate your understanding and respect of the District’s commitment to protect the integrity of all pending investigations during these challenging circumstances. We ask that you allow our staff to focus their attention during these trying times on the learning environment of our students," the statement continued.

A website for the Club Blue Instrumental Music Program at Bonita Vista High School includes a short biography on Mangan-Magabilin. The bio says he has been with the school for 10 years, and also conducts the Crusader Girls Chorus at Bonita Vista Middle School.

He’s an alumnus of the University of Southern California, where he performed as a member of the Trojan Marching Band. He also earned a master’s degree in conduction from the American Band College of Sam Houston State in 2013.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[‘It Was Like a Bomb’: Big Rigs Collide on I-15]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:23:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Big-Rig-Crash-0728.jpg

Three semi-trucks crashed on Interstate 15 in San Diego’s North County overnight – a violent collision one witness said sounded like a bomb exploding.

“It was like a bomb going off,” recalled truck driver and witness Cesar Lizarrega. “And all I [saw] was steam and trucks all over the place. I realized that we had a major accident here.”

Lizarrega witnessed the crash on northbound I-15 near Mission Avenue at around 1:40 a.m. Thursday.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Gustavo Hernandez, 39, of Mexico, was driving a tractor trailer semi-truck slowly in the No. 4 lane near the scales in Rainbow, California.

Just then, a semi-truck driven by Moreno Valley resident Jose Betancourt, 55, rear-ended Hernandez’s vehicle. CHP investigators said Betancourt saw Hernandez’s semi, but was unable to stop his big rig in time to avoid the crash.

Both big rigs stalled out, blocking the No. 4 lane. Both Hernandez and Betancourt got out of their trucks and stood on the right shoulder of the freeway.

At 2:04 a.m., another semi-truck driven by San Bernardino resident Salvador Munoz, 65, approached the area. Also unable to safely stop his big rig, Munoz plowed into the two stalled semi-trucks.

CHP officials said Munoz suffered serious injuries and was taken to Palomar Medical Center. Hernandez and Betancourt were not hurt in the chain-reaction crash.

Traffic lanes were blocked for several hours as investigators gathered evidence and worked to clear the semi-trucks from the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Footage from the accident shows that one of the big rigs was a Costco Wholesale truck, while another was a Ralphs grocery store semi-truck.

Photo Credit: OnScene.TV]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies in Police Custody at Concert Venue]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:31:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sleep-Train-Amphitheatre-Death-0727.jpg

An unruly man attending a concert at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista died Wednesday night while in police custody, officials confirmed. 

According to the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD), security officers at the concert venue told police the man began acting disruptively around 7:30 p.m. during the Dead & Company show. The man – described as heavy-set and in his late 50s – appeared to be intoxicated and was moving from seat to seat, the CVPD said.

Security officers asked to see the man’s concert ticket.

When he couldn’t show them his ticket, the officers escorted him toward the exit. The CVPD said that’s when the man tried to flee, leading to a brief struggle with security officers.

CVPD officers were also at the venue and were called to the scene of the struggle. According to investigators, the man was screaming incoherently and acting irrationally.

Police officers handcuffed the man and took his to a security office at the venue. Again, police said the man tried to run away and another brief struggle with authorities ensued.

He was detained once more and evaluated by medical personnel at the scene. The CVPD said that, at that point, the man did not show signs of any serious injuries.

The man was arrested for public intoxication. As CVPD officers completed paperwork on the suspect, he sat upright in a chair and fell asleep, snoring.

At 8:40 p.m., the CVPD said an officer noticed the man had stopped snoring. When the officer checked on the suspect, the man was unresponsive, police said.

Medical personnel were called to the office, but the man was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m., the CVPD said.

Several law enforcement units are now investigating the deadly incident. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s (ME) office will conduct an examination to determine the man cause and manner of death. 

Meanwhile, per standard operating procedure in cases involving deaths that occur while a person is in police custody, the CVPD’s Crimes of Violence Unit is also investigating the case.

The CVPD said the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office was also notified of the man’s death, per protocol, and a DA investigator was called to the concert venue Wednesday night.

The CVPD said members of the department’s Professional Standards Unit are also conducting an independent investigation, per standard procedure.

On Thursday, CVPD Lt. Fritz Reber told NBC 7 the ME had completed the autopsy on the suspect. The man is 58 years old, Reber said, and his name will be released at a later time.

Reber said the investigation is ongoing, and police are also looking at surveillance video from the venue and footage recorded on body cameras worn by CVPD officers.

No further details were immediately released.

This is the second time Sleep Train Amphitheatre has made headlines this month.

In the early hours of July 16, two women were involved in a deadly crash as they headed home from the Chula Vista concert venue after a Dixie Chicks show. In that case, the driver was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol. Her passenger, Kendra Carpenter, 39, died in the suspected DUI crash.

The concert venue, owned and operated by Live Nation, is located in San Diego’s South Bay, about 16 miles south of downtown San Diego.

NBC 7 has reached out to Live Nation for comment on this case. We are awaiting a response.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Despite Trades, Padres Home Run Streak Keeps Growing]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:23:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DickersonHR.jpg

The Padres avoided a sweep in Toronto with an 8-4 victory in Wednesday’s getaway game.  

Despite the win, San Diego finished its 10-game road trip a disappointing 3-7.

San Diego did receive homers from Adam Rosales, Brett Wallace and Alex Dickerson Wednesday. 

The biggest storyline for this team (other than trade rumors) is that somehow the offense has homered at least once in a franchise-record 25 consecutive games.

The Padres are just two more games away from tying the MLB record, and can break the mark this weekend when the Reds come to town.

Here’s some interesting numbers during the streak:


- The Padres are 11-14 during their last 25 contests.

- The ball club is 6-4 against division rivals.

- San Diego has hit 42 total home runs during this hot streak.

- Second baseman Ryan Schimpf has the most homers (9) over this stretch.

- Schimpf is followed by Matt Kemp (7), Yangervis Solarte (6), former Padre Melvin Upton (5 – including a walk-off vs the Yankees), Alex Dickerson (5 - including 4 in a row!), All-Star Wil Myers (3), Brett Wallace (2), Derek Norris (2), Adam Rosales (2) and catcher Christian Bethancourt with one.

- Schimpf, Upton and Kemp have each homered twice in a game during the streak.


San Diego hosts Cincinnati to kick off a six-game homestand Friday evening at 7:40 p.m.

Edwin Jackson is slated to start against Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Overnight Construction at Grocery Store Bothers Residents]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:51:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PR_PKG_RALPHS_CONSTRUCTION_NOISE_1200x675_729983555715.jpg

After a few peaceful nights, Carmel Mountain Ranch residents were awakened by familiar construction noise.

An NBC 7 viewer complained of being woken up to the cacophonous sound of things being thrown into a nearby dumpster at the construction site. The noise continued for roughly half an hour, and no heavy equipment was used, he said.

While last week’s noisy construction turned out to be illegal, this time it appears to be simply annoying. A city spokesman said that although the overnight construction is a nuisance, it’s not necessarily breaking the rules.

In the previous incident last Thursday, the noise went on throughout the night and involved heavy equipment. A city code enforcement officer issued a formal warning to the contractor last week.

The city official said this time the noise was legal because no heavy equipment was used and it stopped within less than an hour. This time around, the NBC 7 viewer did not file a complaint with the city and he did not report it to police.

Construction crews aren’t legally permitted to make noise greater than sixty decibels for more than an hour at a time, said the city official.

However, if the Construction Crews violate the law again they could face fines and possibly be ordered to stop working on this project.

Another city official says it’s important to make a record of the noise, even when the legality is unclear.

If you have a similar story, record video of the noise, call the non-emergency line and notify police, and file a complaint with the city code enforcement.

<![CDATA[9 Arrested in El Cerrito Casino Raid]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:27:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lucky+Lady+raid.JPG

Dozens of FBI agents and San Diego police officers on Wednesday morning raided an El Cerrito casino and arrested nine people on racketeering charges.

Officers swarmed the Lucky Lady Casino at El Cajon Boulevard and 55th early Wednesday morning. The FBI’s organized crime squad served a sealed search warrant at the casino as they investigated a group of defendants on illegal gambling and racketeering allegations.

These defendants were arrested: Sanders Bruce Segal, Stanley Samuel Penn, Petter Magnus Karlsson, David Greg Leppo, Pablo Ballestro Frech, Sydney Bruce, Segal, Joseph Edward Spatafore, Minh Triet Dinh Nguyen, James Hang Tear, Ken Pheng Keo, Jason D. Taylor and Jeffrey Alan Burke.

Two of the defendants were arraigned on Wednesday afternoon and the remaining defendants are expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Prosecutors in a news release said the defendants are accused of using the casino as a front for an illegal sports gambling operation.

Segal, believed to be the ringleader, operated “Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book,” which connected bookies, sub-bookies and gamblers with sports websites outside the U.S.

The operation aimed to provide customers a place to illegally place bets on sports gambling websites.

The group of defendants assisted Segal is conducting the operation, federal prosecutors said.

Several Lucky Lady employees were shocked when they showed up to work on Wednesday.

“I haven’t seen anything going on,” said poker dealer David Nguyen. “I work 4 to 5 days a week. Everybody is really good. Friendly casino. Regular customers every day. I don’t hear any illegal activity at all.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to the casino. It was closed during Wednesday’s investigation.

Photo Credit: Nicole Gomez]]>
<![CDATA[Trial for Man Accused in Campaign Finance Scandal Begins]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:28:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Azano-0609_2.jpg

The trial for a Mexican millionaire facing federal charges in a San Diego campaign finance scandal started Wednesday. 

Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, 48, is accused of funneling $600,000 of dollars into San Diego campaigns.

According to unsealed documents, Azano is one of several accused of hiding the source of campaign donations or concealing a donation altogether in records with the San Diego City Clerk, the Federal Election Commission, or the California Secretary of State.

Azano, referred to as "Mr. Lambo" in the indictment, is accused of making more than $600,000 in illegal contributions to former Mayor Bob Filner, failed mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis, and other candidates.

As the trial unfolds, 61 witnesses are expected to testify, including several high-profile witnesses like Sheriff Bill Gore and former councilman and current radio host Carl DeMaio. 

Prosecutors list 20 instances in which campaign finance records were falsified to send money from Azano to three candidates in local elections.

It is illegal for a foreign national to donate to a U.S. political campaign.

His motive, according to court documents, was to develop San Diego's waterfront into a Miami-of-the-West, with condos and a high-end hotel.

Azano has also been charged with illegally possessing a firearm, a black Sig Sauer P225 semi-automatic pistol.

Three other defendants, including Azano's son, are on trial. They are accused of getting the money to where it needed to go. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Adopts Kitten After Being Recently Adopted Herself]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:51:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/aricelli+meehan+07271.jpg

At NBC’s Clear the Shelters event last Saturday, one kitten found a loving home with a little girl who had herself been recently adopted a few years ago.

Nine-year-old Aricelli Meehan adopted the kitten at an animal shelter in Bonita, where she is attending summer camp nearby.

“I just looked into her eyes and she looked into mine. And then I saw her personality and how good she was, and I knew she was the one,” Aricelli told NBC 7 San Diego while rocking a silver tiara and snowflake face paint. The camp was having a special dress up day on Wednesday, which explains why Aricelli was dressed up as Queen Elsa from Frozen.

Aricelli named her new kitten Emerald, who was only ten weeks old when adopted from NBC's Clear the Shelters event last weekend. When you look into Emerald’s bright green eyes, it’s easy to see why Aricelli picked that name.

“She could have been put to sleep. Makes me sad…Happy that I rescued her,” said Aricelli as she snuggled her fuzzy little friend. “Her personality is sweet, kind, funny, playful and of course, adorable.”

Aricelli knows what it’s like to be looking for a loving family. In her early childhood, she was placed in child protective services. She was ultimately placed into the foster care system at the age of six.

That's where she met her future adoptive mother, Missy Meehan.

“She had a whole list of other children and she chose me…Makes me happy,” said Aricelli.

When Meehan was asked how she picked Aricelli, it was clearly for many of the same reasons that Aricelli chose her kitten Emerald.

“They said I think you just need to meet her which took maybe three minutes, right, for us to fall in love with each other and know that we were best matches,” said Meehan.

The little girl and her kitten have a lot in common, and a lot of hope for the future.

“I love this kitten…She’s my beautiful kitten,” said Aricelli.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Small Business Struggles with Amazon Search Results]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:56:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cynthia+Webb+NBC+responds.jpg

When you're searching for something online you simply type in a few keywords and it shows up. That's how Cynthia Webb has been selling her pewter gifts for years.

Recently when customers went to Amazon to search for Webb’s products, Amazon search results would provide somebody else's items.

“It crushed me, I was just so upset,” Webb told NBC 7 Responds.

Webb’s most popular item is a Mezuzah inspired blessing. She said she’s made it for years and it’s sold very well online. Late last year she did a search on Amazon and said she was shocked at what showed up.

“You typed in ‘Cynthia Webb’ in the Amazon search and someone else’s piece came up, at the top of the list,” Webb said.

The words and design were slightly different, but Webb said she is convinced they copied her work. She said there’s not much she can do about that, but that’s not the worst part.

“Their piece is coming up when you search my name,” Webb said as she showed us the search results on her office computer.

Webb said this could only happen if competitors are using her name in their keywords, something shoppers wouldn’t see but the key words influence the results of their online searches. Webb said it has taken a big bite out of her online sales.

“Tell Amazon to please, please, respect my name,” Webb told NBC 7 Responds.

Webb said she spent hours upon hours trying to get Amazon to drop her name from competitors’ searches but, had no luck.

NBC 7 Responds contacted Amazon and now when you search “Cynthia Webb Designs,” Webb’s products appear at the top of the search results.

“Thank you NBC 7 Responds,” Webb said in a video she sent us after Amazon fixed the problem. “I’ve been fighting this battle for seven months and you took care of it in a flash. Thank you NBC.”

A spokesperson for Amazon told NBC 7 Responds the company had no comment for this story but said it was great to hear the results were appreciated.

When you're searching for something online you simply type in a few keywords and it shows up. That's how Cynthia Webb has been selling her pewter gifts for years.

Recently when customers went to Amazon to search for Webb’s products, Amazon search results would provide somebody else's items.

“It crushed me, I was just so upset,” Webb told NBC 7 Responds.

Webb’s most popular item is a Mezuzah inspired blessing. She said she’s made it for years and it’s sold very well online. Late last year she did a search on Amazon and said she was shocked at what showed up.

“You typed in ‘Cynthia Webb’ in the Amazon search and someone else’s piece came up, at the top of the list,” Webb said.

The words and design were slightly different, but Webb said she is convinced they copied her work. She said there’s not much she can do about that, but that’s not the worst part.

“Their piece is coming up when you search my name,” Webb said as she showed us the search results on her office computer.

Webb said this could only happen if competitors are using her name in their keywords, something shoppers wouldn’t see but the key words influence the results of their online searches. Webb said it has taken a big bite out of her online sales.

“Tell Amazon to please, please, respect my name,” Webb told NBC 7 Responds.

Webb said she spent hours upon hours trying to get Amazon to drop her name from competitors’ searches but, had no luck.

NBC 7 Responds contacted Amazon and now when you search “Cynthia Webb Designs,” Webb’s products appear at the top of the search results.

“Thank you NBC 7 Responds,” Webb said in a video she sent us after Amazon fixed the problem. “I’ve been fighting this battle for seven months and you took care of it in a flash. Thank you NBC.”

A spokesperson for Amazon told NBC 7 Responds the company had no comment for this story but said it was great to hear the results were appreciated.

NBC 7 Responds is here to help you with your consumer issues and we want to hear from you. Submit your consumer problem through our online form by clicking here (Link for here: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/consumer-form/) Or you can call us 619-732-NBC7 (6332). Every call or online submission we receive will be answered because if you need help, NBC 7 Responds.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Painter Convicted of Attempted Murder of SD Sportscaster]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:48:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mike-Montana-071116.jpg

The man accused of shooting San Diego-area sports anchor Kyle Kraska has been found guilty of attempted murder. 

Kraska was shot four times outside his Scripps Ranch home in February 2015, suffering wounds to his chest, leg, hip and bicep.

A jury found Mike Montana, a painter, guilty of several counts, including attempted murder; a jury said the act was deliberate and premeditated. He is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date. 

Once the verdict had been read, Montana turned around to face someone in the gallery and said, "what can you do?"

As the verdict was read, Kraska sat with his head in his lap, sobbing.The sportscaster for KFMB-TV survived the shooting by crawling on the ground for 50 to 60 feet and asking a neighbor to call for help.

Montana was initially hired to paint Kraska's home.

However, there was a dispute over the quality of the work between Kraska and Montana. Kraska said he fronted Montana $800 for supplies before the painter quit without completing the work. Montana said Kraska failed to pay him $2,200. 

Montana's defense attorney argued his client was prescribed a “barrage” of medications at the time of the shooting. 

Those medications made his client incapable of having criminal intent under the law, he said.

Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp said Montana was "calm, cool and collected" while firing multiple rounds at Kraska's silver Mercedes before hiding the weapon.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Man, 27, Dies While Skinny-Dipping: Lifeguards]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:11:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-Lifeguard-Ocean-Beach.jpg

A man died while skinny-dipping in the ocean off the coast of San Diego, lifeguards confirmed Wednesday.

The 27-year-old man was swimming with four friends off Ocean Beach at approximately 4 a.m., north of the pier and Ocean Beach Park.

Friends say the man went farther out from the jetty than the rest of the group, San Diego Fire-Rescue Lt. Andy Lerum said. When they couldn't find him in the dark water, they called 911.

Lifeguards found the man quickly but he was unconscious with no steady heartbeat, Lerum said.

Emergency personnel performed CPR on the man and rushed him to UCSD where he was pronounced dead hours later.

Lerum said the man may have gotten caught in a rip current and couldn't swim back to shore.

Officials have identified the man only as a Mexicali resident.

With water temperatures currently in the mid-70s, it can be tempting to night swim but lifeguards don't advise swimming at night without lifeguards on duty, Lerum said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Triple Killings Suspect Hospitalized: SDSO]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:28:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carlo-Mercado-0903.jpg

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) officials confirmed Wednesday that a man suspected in the mysterious, high-profile slayings of three San Diegans has been hospitalized.

SDSO media relations director Jan Caldwell told NBC 7 Investigates that Carlo Mercado, 31, had been transported from San Diego Central Jail in downtown San Diego Tuesday afternoon to UC Medical Center.

Caldwell said Mercado, along with his cellmate, Abel Martinez, 52, were observed by deputies to be in "medical distress" at around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

NBC 7's source close to the investigation believes the inmates overdosed.

Further details on Mercado's transport and current condition were not immediately released. Caldwell said both Mercado and Martinez were undergoing treatment as of Wednesday afternoon.

"An investigation is being conducted by the San Diego Sheriff's Department Homicide Unit and Detentions Investigative Unit into the circumstances surrounding this incident, and no further details are available at this time," Caldwell told NBC 7.

NBC 7 Investigates reached out to Mercado's attorney, Jane Kinsey, but she said she had no comment on this development involving her client.

Mercado is accused of killing brothers Salvatore “Sal” Belvedere, 22, and Gianni Belvedere, 24, and Gianni’s fiancée, Ilona Flint, 22.

The killings began with a shooting on Christmas Eve 2013 in the parking lot of Westfield Mission Valley mall.

Last week, a judge ruled Mercado would stand trial in the triple homicide case, with his trial set to begin on April 3, 2017.

In February 2016, Mercado pleaded not guilty to the slayings.

At that time, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson said the District Attorney’s office would seek the death penalty if Mercado’s trial moved forward and if he is convicted.

Over the past two-and-a-half years the triple homicide case has seen many twists and turns.

Prosecutors have said it does not appear Mercado was in any way connected to the victims and that the killings are believed to have been random, or perhaps the result of some type of “road rage” incident. The killings do not appear to have been a hit, as has been speculated, prosecutors said in February.

Still, the motive for the slayings remains shrouded in mystery.

Several months ago, Mercado’s defense attorney Gary Gibson said he was disappointed with the DA’s decision to pursue the death penalty in this case given Mercado’s history of mental illness. Gibson said his client is a “deeply damaged individual with significant mental health issues.” However, Erickson argued Mercado’s mental state is directly linked to the case, which includes depression “based on his situation.”

Gibson said the case will be difficult to prove at trial because prosecutors are struggling to pin down a motive.

On Dec. 24, 2013 Flint and Sal were found critically shot inside their car parked outside a Macy’s department store at Westfield Mission Valley mall in San Diego’s Mission Valley area. Flint, who called 911 to report the shooting and their location, died at the scene. Sal was hospitalized and died a few days later.

Flint’s fiancé and Sal’s brother, Gianni, went missing around the same time of the Christmas Eve killings. On Jan. 17, 2014 police found Gianni’s badly decomposed body stuffed into the trunk of his own car parked at a shopping center in Riverside, California, more than 100 miles away from San Diego. He, too, had been shot to death.

For six months, police reported no breaks in the baffling triple homicide case.

On June 20, 2014 the San Diego Police Department confirmed officers had arrested Mercado as the suspect in the three slayings. Mercado pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder.

At a pretrial in early September 2014, DNA evidence emerged linking Mercado to Gianni’s car and the bloody Riverside crime scene, while ballistics evidence linked a gun registered in Mercado’s name to the deadly shootings of Flint, Sal and Gianni. Prosecutors also presented evidence found on Mercado's phone and computers.

Also in early September 2014, search warrants obtained by NBC 7 revealed the exhaustive investigation into the triple homicide case, but no clear motive for the killings.

In December 2014 the families of the three victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Westfield, LLC, accusing the Mission Valley mall of negligence in the deaths of Flint and the Belvedere brothers, claiming the mall failed to provide sufficient lighting and monitoring security cameras in the area to keep patrons safe. That lawsuit also listed Mercado as a defendant, accusing him of malice and oppression in the killings.

On Nov. 3, 2014 a San Diego judge ruled Mercado was not competent to stand trial in the triple killings, and ordered he be treated at Patton State Hospital for three years until he was found competent to assist in his own defense.

That ruling came after reports submitted by two psychiatrists and one psychologist diagnosed Mercado as schizophrenic, psychotic and suffering from catatonic depression, Mercado’s attorney said at the time.

In September 2015, Mercado was returned to San Diego Central Jail after evaluators from Patton State Hospital found him competent to stand trial. The defense then requested a competency trial for Mercado.

On Dec. 14, 2015 a judge ruled Mercado was competent to stand trial.

When Mercado’s trial date was set last week, a judge also ordered Mercado to appear in court this October for a status conference.

With his hospitalization, it is unclear if the timeline of his upcoming court proceedings will change.

Meanwhile, Mercado's cellmate, Martinez, is also accused of murder.

Martinez was convicted last month in the shooting his ex-girlfriend, Leila Farmer, and her boyfriend, Eufracio Alberto Enriquez, in March 2014 at a home in Dehesa Valley near Alpine. Enriquez died in the shooting.

Inmate records indicate Martinez was scheduled to appear in court this Friday. As of Thursday, his court appearance had been postponed, with no date set just yet, the Deputy District Attorney's office told NBC 7.

NBC 7 reached out to Martinez's attorney, Thomas Bahr, on Wednesday. Bahr said he had no comment.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Jogger Approached by Man in Kidnapping Attempt: SDPD]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:35:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/UC+Attempted+Kidnapping.JPG

A jogger running through San Diego's University City neighborhood was approached by a man in an attempted kidnapping, San Diego Police (SDPD) said. 

The incident happened shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday near Cargill Avenue and Nobel Drive in University City, just blocks from the Westfield UTC Mall, San Diego Police (SDPD) said. 

Police initially told NBC 7 San Diego the woman was running when a man with a Taser approached her, trying to hold the Taser to her chest. Half an hour later, investigators on scene could not confirm that detail. 

The woman managed to escape and run away. 

"A male sitting in a passenger side of a black sedan assaulted her reached out and grabbed her she was able to fend off her attacker and run off and make it home where she called police," said SDPD Lt. Adam Starki.

The victim told police the man was driving a black four door Sedan with a Lyft sticker. Police could not say whether the suspect was a Lyft driver or not. 

Officers are in the area investigating the attempted kidnapping. 

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Triathletes Pick Poway As Their 'Hidden Gem']]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:45:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Poway+Olympics+Triatheletes.jpg

The United States will send three Olympians to compete in the Men’s Triathlon in Rio De Janeiro, and two of them live and train in Poway.

Something in the water, you ask?

Perhaps, just don’t drink it, because the two Olympians swim daily in the same pool as hundreds of local kids at the Poway Community Pool.

“It seems like we're a juxtaposition here," said Greg Billington. "We're training for the Olympics, and it's kind of a regular pool."

While some athletes train in secured facilities off-limits to the public, 27-year-old Billington and 30-year-old Joe Maloy quietly go about their business in the middle of suburbia.

They are surrounded by teenagers jumping off the high dive on one end and toddlers learning to swim on the other.

“We found Poway as kind of the perfect little hidden gem," said Maloy. "We've got a great pool here, we’ve got good access to the ocean for open water training, the roads are great, and there are trails everywhere for running."

Both men moved to the small town several years ago to train under coach Paulo Sousa and his “Triathlon Squad”.

Maloy and Billington, who will compete against each other in Rio, train together using the same formula: work your body to the point of exhaustion and then wake up and do it again.

"All those workouts make you really tired and they make your brain work really slow sometimes and they make you really grumpy sometimes," said Maloy.

A typical day includes a three-mile swim, an eight to 10 mile run, and a two hour bike ride, with lots of physical therapy along the way.

“There's like nothing else we do, and I think that's really hard for a lot of people to grasp, we don't have another job, we don't have any real hobbies, all we do is train hard and try to become the best athletes we can be," said Billington.

The Rio 2016 Olympics air on NBC starting August 5, 2016. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Only Dog Left at El Cajon's Animal Shelter Gets Returned]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:14:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/opie+4.jpg

It was, sadly, a false alarm on Wednesday for the lone dog at El Cajon's animal shelter, when a would-be owner returned the pup to the shelter hours later.

The dachshund-chihuahua mix was the only animal left at the shelter after Saturday’s Clear the Shelters event found new homes for hundreds of animals across San Diego County.

Opie, an 8-year-old dog that can’t live with other dogs or children, was left behind. His story captured the hearts of hundreds of NBC 7 viewers on social media.

Shelter staffers said Wednesday that a man from Poway adopted the pup at about 1 p.m.

At 4:30 p.m., shelter staffers told NBC 7 that the prospective owner had brought Opie home and then decided to return him to the shelter later that afternoon.

The man did not give a reason for returning Opie, staffers said.

Since Monday, the shelter fielded dozens of phone calls from people interesting in adopting Opie. But because of the dog’s living limitations, he has yet to find a home.

Photo Credit: El Cajon Animal Shelter]]>
<![CDATA[Chula Vista Fire Department Sells Special 9/11 T-Shirts]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:35:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula+Vista+Fire+Generic+2.jpg

The Chula Vista Fire Department and the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation (CVFF) are selling special “9/11 Never Forget” T-shirts to remember the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001, said an official.

All of the proceeds from the T-shirts will go to the CVFF and the California Firefighters Memorial, according to the CVFD.

The T-shirt is Navy blue featuring the phrase “We Remember” on the front design, according to the CVFD. They also include the phrases “Chula Vista Fire Department” and the number “343." The skyline of the twin towers is featured in the center, with an American flag in the backdrop. The words, "We Will Never Forget" are printed on the back of the shirts.

The number 343 describes the total number of firefighters and paramedics who were killed on that tragic day, according to the CVFD.

To look at the T-shirt designs, visit this webpage from the CVFD. The T-shirts cost $20 with a slight extra fee for the sizes of 2XL and 3XL.

According to the CVFD, the shirts are only available on the website. Online orders for the T-shirt will close on August 12, 2016 at 5 p.m.

An official said the T-shirts will be delivered between August 29 and September 3.

The California Firefighter’s memorial is under the non-profit California Fire Foundation. It’s a lasting tribute to the people who gave their lives to save their fellow Californians, according to the CVFD.

This includes two bronze casts called “Holding the Line” and “Fallen Brother.”

The wall is inscribed with the names of over 1,100 firefighters who died while helping others, according to the CA Fire Foundation.

Photo Credit: Lori Brown
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<![CDATA[Carlsbad Man Wants to 'Veto Gunmaggedon']]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:43:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/barrybahramicarlsbad.jpg

A Carlsbad man is leading an effort to roll back new California gun restrictions recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Barry Bahrami said he did not like the way the gun restriction bills were pushed through the California legislature and he wants voters to have their voices heard.

According to the California Secretary of State’s Office, Bahrami needs to gather signatures from 365,880 registered voters for each of the six petitions in order to qualify for the ballot. That number is about five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2014 general election.

Proponets of any petitions have 90 days from the date the bill is chaptered to request and receive a title and summary from the Attorney General and to gather petition signatures for the referendum.

For Bahrami, the deadline is September 29th.

He told NBC 7 that he is confident he has the support to get it done.

“No problem. It's just a matter of the mechanics of getting them signed, filing. We got the numbers," he said.

Bahrami has a Facebook page to get the word out called “Veto Gunmaggedon” and a website to raise support.

He said he will have petitions at gun stores and gun ranges. He added that he has hundreds of volunteers across the state, ready to go.

“They've been waiting for this, I think. This is just a spark in a big powder keg and now it's game on they want to get their rights back,” he said.

The gun control bills include:


  • AB 1135 and SB 880: Bans the sale of semiautomatic guns with “bullet buttons” allowing easy replacement of the ammunition magazine
  • AB 1511: Short-term loans of firearms to people other than immediate family members not allowed
  • AB 1695: Not reporting a stolen gun would be a crime
  • SB 1235: Background checks required when buying ammunition to prevent felons from purchasing
  • SB 1446: Illegal to have possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than ten bullets


But Bahrami needs to gather signatures at a time when support for tighter gun restrictions seems to be growing.

Ron Marcus, with the San Diego Chapter of the Brady Campaign, said this is another attempt to stall or veto well thought-out common sense gun laws.

“We're looking for something that respects everybody but helps keep out society safer,” Marcus said.

But Bahrami calls them feel good laws, saying someone who wants to do harm can find weapons banned in California -- in other nearby states.

"Criminals do not obey the law by definition,” he said.

Marcus argued that with so much gun violence in the U.S., the country has to start moving toward laws that create a safer culture.

“With every right, comes responsibility and because we live in a very large society, with a lot of guns, we need to have some sort of regulations that keep everything in check,” he said.

Bahrami told NBC 7 that he's also interested in safety, especially for his family.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom also has a measure for gun regulations on the November ballot that proposes do do what Bahrami is calling for.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Airport’s Terminal 2 Parking Lot to Close for Construction]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:29:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Airport-Parking-Plaza-Rendering-727.jpg

A large portion of the Terminal 2 parking lot at the San Diego International Airport will soon be closed as construction crews begin work on a new, large-scale project designed to enhance parking around the busy terminal.

According to the San Diego Airport Authority, the current lot at Terminal 2 at Lindbergh Field will be closed beginning Aug. 6. For the time being, travelers who use Terminal 2 can access limited parking near the terminal via McCain Road or use alternate lots.

During this closure, crews will begin construction of the airport’s new $127.8 million “Parking Plaza,” an area that will eventually include 2,901 “close-in” parking spaces – spots that are within walking distance to Terminal 2 when the parking structure opens to the public in summer 2018.

At a news conference Wednesday, Bob Bolton, director of airport design and construction, said the Parking Plaza will span 1 million square feet across three levels. It will increase the net parking in the area by about 1,800 stalls. Of the 3,000 spaces, 1,740 will be covered parking – the first time Lindbergh Field has had covered spaces.

Bolton said the features of the Parking Plaza will be unique – and it’ll be more than just a parking structure. This will include safe pathways for pedestrians, as well as crosswalks that will take travelers directly from the plaza to Terminal 2.

“Light wells” will allow lots of natural light into the structure, too.

“The building is very inviting, very open,” Bolton explained.

The plaza will also include seven glass-back elevators so riders can see out of the cab and people can see in, creating a safer experience for those taking the elevator.

Bolton said public art may also be installed inside the Parking Plaza. A portion of the plaza will boast a view of the harbor and downtown San Diego skyline, creating a fun photo opportunity for travelers looking to take a quick break and snap a selfie.

The Parking Plaza is also expected to have environmental benefits by reducing air emissions caused by cars that are circulating and idling while searching for an available parking space.

Bolton said construction of the Parking Plaza will last approximately 21 months.

During this time, technology experts will also be developing a smartphone app that will eventually help customers who park in the plaza reserve, locate and pay for parking spaces via their mobile devices.

Bolton said that by 2035, the airport will need 7,000 “close-in” spaces within walking distance to the terminals. This Parking Plaza will create at least half of those. He said the new parking area will have minimal impact on traffic around the airport.

For now, while Terminal 2 parking area is shut down, Bolton said travelers should use the Airport’s new website, UpgradeYourParking, to reserve parking spots prior to heading to Lindbergh Field.

He said the Airport Authority plans to keep the public informed on parking during construction via the website, and with plenty of signage around the airport indicating how to get to the temporary parking areas. The website also includes a map of the airport parking lot and renderings of the Parking Plaza.

For now, alternate parking areas at the airport include:

• Terminal 1 and 2 valet service with curbside drop-off ($40 per day)
• Terminal 1 lot ($32 per day)
• Terminal 2 limited parking off McCain Road ($32 per day)
• Long-term Lot at 3015 N. Harbor Dr. ($20 per day)
• Economy Lot at 3302 Pacific Highway and Washington Street ($13 per day)

Photo Credit: San Diego Airport Authority
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