An emotional candlelight vigil was held Saturday night for a 22-year old SDSU student who was allegedly gunned down by her ex-boyfriend days before she was going to graduate.
Dozens of students gathered Saturday night on the street where Michel David, 22, was allegedly shot and killed by Dan Shoemake, 21, on Friday afternoon. Shoemake is David’s estranged boyfriend, who police say then killed himself.
On Saturday night students sang, prayed, and mourned the loss of a life taken too soon.
“She was just the most welcoming person I could have randomly found to live with, so kind and amazing from the beginning, just so selfless,” said her friend.
Among those gathered at the candlelight vigil was her uncle, who happened to fly into San Diego for a convention just hours after his niece was shot.
“Is this for real? This happens to other people. It doesn't happen to your family and I've heard people say that in interviews, it happens to other families, it doesn't happen to yours, but it happened to ours. It’s still kind of surreal. I'm still kind of numb,” said Greg Savella.
Savella says David’s family has been in touch with the family of her accused killer and says they're hurting as well. He said the families are relying on each other for support.
David left her College Area apartment at about 10 a.m. Friday to walk her dog. Shoemake had been waiting near her apartment near the intersection of 55th Street and El Cajon Boulevard and approached her with an assault rifle, police said.
Police say words were exchanged and Shoemake opened fire at least three times, hitting David.
"Right after that I heard another, single pop," said neighbor Chris Noland.
Shoemake had returned to his silver pick up truck and used a handgun to kill himself, police said.
"Maybe three to five minutes later, I heard the sirens, so I knew something was wrong. So I came outside and there was a group of people standing here and I saw the paramedics doing CPR,” Noland said.
Paramedics performed CPR on David before transporting her to Mercy Hospital, where she died.
“Michel is one my closest friends and whenever I would need to talk to someone, she would always be there for me,” said Megan Punzalan, wiping away tears Saturday afternoon.
According to friends of the victim, Shoemake and David had been dating for the past three years, but recently broke up.
“We just knew they weren’t together, you know, kind of on and off,” said friend Mia Lath.
David was supposed to graduate from SDSU next week.
“The last time I saw her I didn’t even have a conversation with her because I was too busy trying to study. I really regret not talking to her at that moment,” said Lath.
Regrets, perhaps, about a conversation that didn’t happen, but no regrets about the friendship they shared.
“She was just the sweetest girl whether she knew you or not,” said Lath.
“She always saw life with a positive outcome; she never looked at things negatively. She had one of the best hearts. So many people knew that,” said Punzalan.
Shoemake was also a student at SDSU but not currently enrolled, according to police. His Facebook page says he is a member of the U.S. Army.
Both David and Shoemake are from Pleasanton, which is located in the Bay Area.
Detectives say they found a note in Shoemake's home, but would not confirm if it was a suicide note.
A patrol car headed to the scene of the shooting crashed into an SUV at 55th Street and El Cajon Boulevard. The SUV flipped onto its side. The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The officer was not hurt.