San Diego

Friends Seek Answers After Navy Veteran Walking Dogs in Oceanside Park Shot, Killed

The victim was shot to death while walking his dogs throughout the park

Friends of a U.S. Navy veteran shot to death while walking his dogs in an Oceanside park are searching for answers, days later. 

Martin Swan, 49, a veteran working in IT at Camp Pendleton, was shot to death by a 16-year-old teenager at Melba Bishop Park just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Although paramedics attempted life-saving measures, Swan died from his injuries.

"I was just totally in shock," said Bill Russell, his friend. "Couldn't believe it."

Russell said Swan was a computer guru who loved his friends and his dogs. 

On Thursday, Russell walked through the park for the first time since his best friend was shot.

He told NBC 7 he still has so many questions.

Oceanside police are still piecing together what happened. The department has only interviewed Martin's roommate, who was with him at the time and unharmed. 

In their initial investigation, police found the victim got into an argument with a couple people before he was shot.

"I couldn't believe it was a 16-year-old supposedly who pulled the trigger," Russell said. 

During the shooting, the teenage suspect sustained non-life threatening injuries. The suspect's identity is being withheld due to his age and the on-going investigation, said police.

"It's so surreal," he said. 

The death has left Russell literally aching with grief.

"He's been a big supporter in my life," Russell said, in tears. 

Martin's friends say he was very organized when it came to specific requests, like his memorial service. Martin did not want a memorial service. However, sometime in the near future, they'll gather at a local restaurant and toast his memory with some beers and then scatter part of his ashes at sea.

Both the victim and the suspect lived in Oceanside. Police are now looking for a handful of individuals who may have been with the shooter at the time. 

Anyone with information about the case can call Oceanside Police at 760-435-4730.

No further information was available.

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