Passenger Shot and Killed by Pedestrian in Oceanside was KinderCare Teacher

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Update: Oceanside police have identified a suspect in the killing of 22-year-old Chelsea Pacheco. Click here for the full story.

Friends and family are remembering a pre-school teacher shot and killed Saturday in Oceanside.

Chelsea Ruby Pacheco, 22, was riding in a car near Bush Street and Archer Street at 11:44 p.m. when she and others in the car got into an interaction with a pedestrian, according to the Oceanside Police Department.

As their vehicle drove off, the pedestrian opened fire and one round went through the back of the vehicle and hit Pacheco, OPD Lt. Taurino Valdovinos said. Pacheco's friends apparently didn't realize she had been shot.

"The reporting party advised their friend was having a panic attack and was having difficulty breathing," Taurino said. "Officers arrived and located a 22-year-old female who was not breathing. Officers provided medical aid until medics arrived and transported her to Tri-City Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased."

KinderCare in Oceanside confirmed Pacheco was a pre-school teacher there, primarily in charge of taking care of 2-year-olds. KinderCare staff described her as very attentive to her students.

Pacheco's friend Justin Pulido said she was adventurous and a risk-taker.

"Too risky, at times, because she would have to push me into doing things a lot of the time," Pulido said.

When he heard the news, Pulido said his first reaction was disbelief.

“At first I thought, ‘This has to be wrong.’" he said. "At first, it was denial, trying to figure out what really happened.”

Loved ones gathered for a vigil Saturday night and left a small vigil outside Pacheco's home that is growing every day.

Candles, balloons and other gifts adorn a curbside vigil in honor of Chelsea Ruby Pacheco.

Police have not arrested the shooter, but described him as a 20 to 30-year-old man, bald, between 5-feet-10 inches and 6 feet tall with a stocky build.

Pulido said Pacheco's family wants to see the shooter be brought to justice.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact OPD Detective Dave Estrada at 760-435-4698.

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