Two months after a shooting that left a Chula Vista neighborhood reeling, police arrested a half-brother of one of the victims - a man injured in the shooting himself. Nicole Gonzales reports.
On Jan. 20, 2012, two people were killed and a third person was seriously injured after an early morning shooting outside the Vistan Apartments in Chula Vista.
According to the Chula Vista Police Department, the two victims who were killed were 17-year-old Hopeton Bennett and his friend, 20-year-old Christina Selmon. Bennett’s half-brother, 21-year-old Julian Velasquez, was also shot but survived his injuries.
Residents of the complex located on the 400 block of Oaklawn Avenue just off H Street called 911 to report the shooting that morning around 3 a.m.
When officers arrived, they found Bennett and Selmon gunned down in front of an apartment door. Velasquez was transported to UCSD Trauma Center for a gunshot wound to his face.
None of the three victims lived in the Vistan Apartments complex, but Selmon’s relatives said she would often go there to hang out with friends. Loved ones said she was an innocent bystander when someone began shooting at the apartment.
On the morning of the deadly incident, Chula Vista police Capt. Gary Ficacci said witnesses reported seeing two young men running from the scene around the time of the shooting.
More than two months later, new developments on this case have come to light.
On Wednesday, Chula Vista police said that during the early stages of this investigation, three men were arrested based on probable cause: Abdiwahab Noorein, 21, Abdulfatah Said , 23, and Aldulaziz Mohamed , 21.
Witness statements and evidence confirmed these subjects were present during the shootings and that they fled the scene, according to police. However, none of these three men have been charged with the shooting.
Police said additional evidence gathered during the investigation now provides probable cause to believe that Velasquez – the 21-year-old victim injured at the scene – is actually responsible for the deaths of his half-brother and Selmon.
Witness statements and physical evidence show that Velasquez and Bennett returned to the apartments with a handgun to confront the occupants there. It is believed they went to retaliate for a fight that occurred earlier in the morning, according to investigators.
Police said Velasquez’s actions caused the shootings of both Bennett and Selmon and that Velasquez attempted to hide evidence and lied to investigators when questioned about the facts related to the shootings and his own wounds.
On Wednesday, Chula Vista Police Department detectives arrested and booked Velasquez. He will be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and two counts of murder.
The investigation is still ongoing an police said further arrests may be made.
Check back for updates on these latest developments.