Killer Still Free As Family Buries Innocent Man

Police say Balboa Park shooting victim was in wrong place at wrong time

By Paul Krueger
|  Wednesday, Sep 16, 2009  |  Updated 4:05 PM PDT
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Family Mourns Young Man Killed in Shooting

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Family Mourns Young Man Killed in Shooting

Brandon Robinson, 23, was shot and killed on Labor Day in Balboa Park. His family and friends say they were told by witnesses that Robinson was an unintended victim.
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Brandon Robinson, who was shot to death on Labor Day in Balboa Park, worked two jobs and had lots of friends -- his parents believe Brandon would never be the target of a killer. Now, police say they agree and that they think Brandon was probably the victim of a bullet intended for someone else.

Larry Robinson, Brandon's father, thinks someone had to see the killing and that, at the very least, someone must have heard the shot that killed his youngest son. He wants any witnesses to come forward and help police catch the killer.

"Was he the intended victim?" Robinson said. "We didn't think so. Not at all. Not a little bit."

Friends and family filled the chapel at Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita on Wednesday to share memories of the 24-year-old Brandon who, they said, lit up a room. During the service, the chapel was overflowing, with some family and friends forced to stand outside.

"The love and support for my son -- couldn't ask for more," Robinson said.

But the pain and anger remain, pain that Byron's death was so senseless.

"There was an unrelated fight, and perhaps somebody pulled out a gun and fired a round, and Brandon was an unintended victim and struck with a stray round that was fired," said Lt. Kevin Rooney of the San Diego Police Department.

Police said the evidence appears to confirm the family's theory: that Brandon was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when he and a friend went to a birthday party in Balboa Park.

Detectives are looking for witnesses who can lead them to a suspect. So far, though, they said they are mostly hearing rumors.

"What we're not getting is a lot of people coming forward, saying, 'I was at the party. I saw what happened. I saw X,Y and Z,' " Rooney said.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's outpouring of support seemed to help ease his family's pain. Brandon's sister has a person memorial to keep his memory alive.
 
"Who's living a good life, it's when we say, 'Sometimes bad things happen to good people. And I think in this case, that's maybe what happened to Brandon," said his grieving father.

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