One man was killed and another was injured in a shooting in City Heights Thursday afternoon, police confirmed.
Police officers rushed to the 4000 block of 39th Street at around 2:45 p.m. to investigate reports of shots fired near a neighborhood alley. News helicopter video showed more than a dozen officers investigating the residential area.
SDPD Lt. Kevin Mayer said one person was killed in the shooting, and homicide detectives are now investigating the deadly incident.
Detectives say the shooting happened after two victims got into some sort of physical fight with two suspects in the west alley on 39th Street.
Detectives say the victims were standing in the alley when two suspects pulled up in a car, got out and started arguing with the victims. One of the suspects pulled a handgun from his clothing and shot both victims multiple times.
Police say the shooting suspects – described as two Hispanic males -- then fled the scene in a dark colored pickup truck that was last seen driving towards El Cajon Boulevard.
When officers arrived they found the two victims, ages 34 and 32, suffering from gunshot wounds and lying on the ground in the alley. Both men were taken to a local hospital.
The 34-year-old victim did not survive his wounds and died a short time later. Police say the 32-year-old victim is currently hospitalized and is expected to survive.
The victims have not been identified by name just yet. Police have not released further suspect or vehicle descriptions at this point.
Officers say the shooting may be gang-related, but that is still under investigation. SDPD gang unit detectives were at the scene Thursday afternoon along with officers.
Neighbors told NBC 7 the neighborhood has its share of gang activity.
Local Jesus Sandoval grew up in the City Heights neighborhood. Sandoval used to be in a gang, but is now a pastor at New Harvest Church.
He says the mentality of those involved in gangs is a dangerous one that often ends up costing lives.
“They’re shooting at each other. They’re part of a gang culture and to them, that’s their family, that’s all they know. It’s like war. A street war and we’re just trying to bring peace and promote change,” Pastor Sandoval told NBC 7.
Police are still searching for the shooting suspects. They’re asking anyone with information on this fatal shooting to call the SDPD homicide unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.