Homicide investigators met with the family of a teacher who died Feb. 6 in a scuffle with an off-duty deputy. As detectives try to sort it all out, family members of Gabriel Vanegas are getting an outpouring of support from his first grade students.
A South Park teacher who died after an altercation with an off-duty sheriff’s deputy appears to have been the aggressor in the fight, according to homicide investigators.
Two days after the incident, no charges have been filed.
Investigators met with the family of Gabriel Vanegas Tuesday night, discussing the case for five hours. The 33-year old man died after an argument involving an off-duty San Diego County sheriff’s deputy at the Rancho Valley Mobile Home Park in El Cajon, according to investigators.
"They wanted to see how Gabriel used to live," said Arturo Vanegas, Gabriel’s brother.
Family members said they are very grateful that investigators are working so hard on this case, trying to piece together what happened Sunday night.
That's when Gabriel's ex girlfriend accused him of trying to push her into his truck during an argument at her home in El Cajon.
Detectives say her current boyfriend, who's a sheriff's deputy, came outside to help her along with her 16-year old brother.
During a scuffle Gabriel ended up on the ground, unconscious, and later died. Family members say Gabriel suffered from a bump on the back of his head. Investigators are waiting for autopsy results to determine an exact cause of death.
"We want answers, everybody does, but they will come in, in time," said Richard Lopez, Gabriel’s brother.
As detectives try to sort it all out, family members of Gabriel Vanegas are getting an outpouring of support from his first grade students.
Inside the family home, the walls are covered with letters and pictures from students at McGill School of Success, where Gabriel taught first grade.
There are also more letters of sympathy on this table, along with photographs with him with his students.
Gabriel's brother is planning to visit the kids on Valentine's day to thank them.
"I'm going to try to bring some candy,” said Arturo Vanegas. “Cause that's what Gabriel wanted you know."
NBCSanDiego has learned the name of the deputy involved in the altercation, but it is our policy not to identify him unless he is charged with a crime.