Joseph Curtis

$1,000 Reward for Tips Leading to Arrest in Deadly Shooting at La Mesa Gas Station

Joseph Curtis was shot and killed Friday morning at the Speedway Express gas station at University and Parks avenues.

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Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the capture of a killer and an accomplice who shot a man dead at a gas station in La Mesa last Friday.

The La Mesa Police Department verified the identity of the victim Monday as Joseph "JC" Curtis.

Curtis, a 44-year-old father of four, is remembered as a good dad and friend to many. A woman who wished not to be identified was compelled to stop and pay her respects at the Speedway Express on the corner of University and Parks Avenues where Curtis was gunned down.

Friends say Curtis lived a block and a half away. You can almost see the roof of his apartment complex from where he was shot. A sidewalk shrine of photographs of him and his family and candles mark the spot where he was killed.

Footage captured by a witness from across the street may be the investigator’s best evidence, so far. It shows Curtis on the sidewalk after he was shot several times.

Curtis was parked at the pump in this white Honda Civic. Police say the incident started as a verbal argument and that evolved into a physical fight.

"It turned into a physical fight at some point in there," LMPD Lt. Katy Lynch said. "The suspect had a gun, got a gunshot the victim then the suspect fled going westbound."

The shooter is described as a male in his 30s wearing a dark shirt and jeans. Police say a woman was behind the wheel of the getaway SUV, a dark-colored, smaller SUV like this one.

The shooting happened in broad daylight just after the Friday morning rush.

Erionna Webster was clerking behind the Speedway counter.

"I was a little terrified, but not too scared because I was safe inside," Webster said. "I was able to lock the door."

Investigators say this was not a random act of violence or road rage. The gunman and victim knew each other, which might help shorten the list of suspects.

NBC 7 reached out to Curtis's family members. While they are telling their story on social media, for now they declined a television interview.

Anyone with information is asked to call LMPD at (619) 667-1400, call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS or report tips online at www.sdcrimestoppers.com.

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