A 79-year-old University Heights military veteran was criminally charged Thursday in the shooting of a San Diego city worker on Labor Day.
Nathan Brogan pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, negligent discharge of a firearm and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
His bail was set at $1 million and Brogan was ordered to stay away from the victim, his family, and his home if he posts bail. The judge also ordered him not to possess any guns if he makes bail.
Police found a number of guns in Brogan's home when they went inside to retrieve his shotgun, a prosecutor said.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco said Brogan shot Lacarter Washington in the shoulder just after 8:30 p.m. Monday as he was checking the water line on Brogan's property.
Piping along the streets in the neighborhood has been under construction for more than a month, one resident told NBC 7.
"It seems like it's hard to understand why that would even occur,” Danica Forest, who saw the whole incident, said. ”I saw them walking in the neighborhood with the construction worker vests on, so you would think that the person was working for the city.”
Washington, who was wearing a city uniform, was at Brogan's water meter when Brogan came outside.
Greco said Washington identified himself to Brogan as a public utility worker and even showed him his badge, but that didn’t stop Brogan from pulling the trigger at close range.
After Brogan allegedly shot the victim, he went into his home and did not do anything to help the victim, Greco said.
The DA said Washington's wounds are very serious and will require several surgeries. The city worker is still in the hospital, prosecutors said.
The shot shattered Washingon's humerus bone, destroyed an artery and the shrapnel wounded his chest, prosecutors said.
Doctors told prosecutors the victim could have died or lost his arm.
Brogan is a U.S. Air Force veteran and was honorably discharged, his attorney said. He's lived at the home where the shooting happened for more than 40 years, the attorney said.
Brogan has no priors and could face up to 34 years to life in prison if convicted. His next court appearance is Sept. 17 and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 19.