San Diego

‘Totally Random Act of Violence': Man, Working Outside Church, Brutally Beaten

"This was a totally random act of violence," said Reverend Guy Williams.

A man painting a Fallbrook church was beaten to death in what officials call a random act on a day designated as the International Day of Peace. 

San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies (SDSO) were called to a fight in front of the church on East Elder Street shortly before noon Wednesday.

Deputies found an 84-year-old man in a nearby alley. He was unresponsive and bleeding from trauma to his upper body.

Deputies administered first aid until paramedics arrived. The man was taken to Palomar Hospital, where he died shortly after.

Witnesses told deputies the victim was painting the exterior of the church with two other people before he was attacked.

The two surviving victims told deputies a young man approached them and started hitting them. 

Reverend Guy Williams said the victims ran inside the church to get away but the man followed, said some words, and began beating them.

The suspect, later identified as Keith Vazquez, 21, of Fallbrook ran into a nearby alley, deputies said. He was arrested on a murder charge and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.

"As far as we know right now there was no connection between the suspect and victims. Believed to be a random act," said Lt. Kenneth Nelson with SDSO Homicide Unit.

The victim who died was an AA recovery member, but the two who survived were not part of the program. Williams says everyone in the community is shaken up from the news.

"We've had some bad people here and there, but nothing like this," Williams said.

"We'll be looking into what was the motivation behind this," Lt. Nelson said. "Was there a drug issue a mental health issues or a random act of someone being angry toward someone for an unknown reason."

Contact Us