San Diego police investigates another possible hate crime in Hillcrest

A projectile shattered the office window of Trans Fronteras, an organization that helps LGBTQ+ migrants get social services

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A previous version of this story and the video above said the organization's name was Trans Frontier when it was Trans Fronteras. We regret the error.

San Diego police are investigating another potential hate crime in Hillcrest.

A projectile, possibly a bullet, on Wednesday morning, shattered the office window of Trans Fronteras, an organization that helps LGBTQ+ migrants get social services.

The projectile made a hole in one pane of glass and broke the other window behind it.

“You look at it, and you tell me that’s not a bullet hole,” Guadalupe Castillon-Mendoza, executive director of Trans Fronteras, said.

It happened just after 10 a.m. as Mendoza and the office manager were working at their desks just steps away.

“We just hear a loud explosion, and I scream out,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza left Texas three months ago for a job with the organization in Hillcrest thinking it would be safer.

“We end up creating a concentrated pocket of queer and trans and gay and lesbian people that makes just about any of these businesses possible targets," Mendoza said.

Just two weeks ago and two blocks from Trans Fronteras, Rich’s nightclub was a target. The night club and four others were fired on by someone in a car. They were shooting gel pellets.

Police are adding patrols after three people were injured by gel pellets at several businesses. NBC 7's Dave Summers reports.

Rich’s VIP host Eddie Reynoso was hit in the eye. The injury could have been more serious than it was.

Police aren’t sure what broke the Trans Fronteras window or where it came from. NBC 7 checked the roof of the adjacent building with owner Dan Cassidy. Cassidy says he’s had complaints of people on top of the building before this. The trajectory of the object, though, might suggest it came from the street.

“The assumption was the entire time, it’s a bullet that somebody tried to shoot into our office,“ Mendoza said.

NBC 7 spoke with neighbor Carole DeVito. She’s lived in Hillcrest more than two decades.

“It’s always been a concern to live here because there has always been so much hate," DeVito said.

DeVito was in her apartment and in earshot of the window break but didn’t hear or see it.

"People should be able to live where they want to live, be who they want to be, and I think that is terrible to happen to them,“ Devito said.

A San Diego police detective was taking pictures and looking for security video Wednesday afternoon. Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

“It’s specifically that we work with trans and queer immigrants, and that bothers people,” Mendoza said.

The Hillcrest community has grown accustomed to threats and vandalism, but this, Mendoza fears, may be something more.

The Trans Fronteras will remain closed for the rest of the week. Mendoza says they are reviewing security in and around the building to determine what changes can be made.

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