A man who police say shot a 79-year-old man who did not give up his SUV during an attempted carjacking outside of his workplace in Bay-Ho faced charges in court Monday.
Francisco Xavier Villegas, 21, pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge, and charges of assault and robbery at his arraignment in San Diego County court Monday.
Villegas approached Jose Quirin and shot him as he was sitting in his parked car in front of an office building where he worked on Morena Boulevard near Costco Wholesale on the morning of May 3, San Diego police said.
Homicide detectives believe that the shooter opened fire through the driver's side window after his attempt to take Quirin's SUV failed.
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"When the victim did not immediately surrender his vehicle, the (assailant) fired at least one round from a firearm through the driver's-side window glass, striking the victim and causing his injuries,'' Lt. Jud Campbell said.
Quirin then drove to a McDonald's at the intersection of Garnet Avenue and Mission Bay Drive where employees flagged down officers to report the bloody victim. First responders rushed Quirin to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries, police said.
Following the shooting, the shooter took off on foot. Villegas was already in jail on a probation violation charge when he was re-arrested on May 5 in connection with the deadly shooting. It is unclear what led police to connect Villegas to the crime.
Villegas is being held without bail. He's expected in court next on May 18.
Jesse Jurado, who works in the complex where the shooting happened, said on the day of the shooting that he had interacted with Querin before.
”He was really friendly, really welcoming, he was always engaging with everybody and he loved my dog, yeah, he called him the boss," Jurado said. "He was here before everybody, he’s working hard and he wanted to make everybody feel at home. So it’s really sad to see someone like that in this community go."