Witnesses described hearing loud “pops” and commotion in a community near Imperial Beach Friday night during a shooting that left one man dead and three other victims injured.
“It just sounded like a couple of firecrackers going off. It sounded like someone was lighting M-80s or something,” explained witness Frank Streightiff.
Streightiff works at a Walmart near the site of the deadly shooting and said he was in the process of clocking out when he heard about nine loud pops. When he went outside, he saw the area lit up with police officers, some of whom were tending to victims.
“I clock out and see helicopters and a bunch of cops,” he said.
According to the San Diego Police Department, shots erupted in the Egger Highlands community near Imperial Beach at around 9:45 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of Cathy Street.
When officers arrived on scene, they found a man in his 30s lying in the street, suffering from mortal gunshot wounds to his upper torso and at least one shot to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene, officials confirmed.
But that man wasn’t the only victim of the shooting.
Police discovered three more men in their 20s in the area who had sustained gunshot wounds. The three men were taken to a local hospital. As of early Saturday morning one of those victims was listed in critical condition, while the other two were listed in stable condition, officials said.
One of the victims was found less than two blocks away, near a Home Depot along Saturn Boulevard. Police believe he was shot on Cathy Street before he stumbled to where he was eventually found injured.
According to investigators, witnesses reported hearing several people arguing right before gunshots rang out. Still, a motive for the shooting has not been determined.
The suspect or suspects responsible for the shooting fled before police arrived and, at this point, police do not have a suspect description. Investigators said a dark-colored, 4-door vehicle was seen leaving the area right after the shooting.
The case is under investigation. Anyone with information should contact the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2275 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
A friend told NBC 7 the victim is Ismael Moreno, something the medical examiner's office confirmed Sunday. The friend said Moreno was a good man. He was married and leaves behind a wife and daughter.
Egger Highlands residents said they were surprised to hear of the deadly shooting, since many have never experienced such violence in their community.
“I’ve never heard anything like this happen before, so it just makes me wonder how violent this area is,” said Streightiff.
Hector Loustaune, a neighbor of the shooting victim, told NBC 7 he was still in shock Saturday morning as police continued to collect evidence at the crime scene and interview witnesses.
When he came home Friday night, he saw police officers everywhere and found out his neighbor had been killed.
“He was a good dude. He seemed like a good guy, not a bad person. I’m still shocked. This doesn’t happen here,” said Loustaune. “It’s scary. I have a daughter.”
Loustaune recalls often seeing his neighbor with his child, taking her to the bus stop and laughing.
“He seemed happy,” he added. “Not a bad person.”