Police ID Shooting Victims and Suspect in City Heights Alleged Marijuana Deal Gone Wrong

The San Diego Police Department said Andrew Briseno, 21, was shot and killed in the Nov. 6 incident on Rowan Street, allegedly by Matatoa Samoata, 20; Erik Sandoval, 21, was also wounded

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San Diego police have identified the two victims and the suspect involved in a deadly shooting in City Heights stemming from what investigators believe was a marijuana deal gone wrong.

Andrew Briseno, 21, was the victim who was shot and killed in the Nov. 6 incident on Rowan Street, officials said Tuesday. His friend Erik Sandoval, also 21, was wounded but is expected to survive. Both men are from Bakersfield, California.

Police said the suspect in the deadly shooting is Matatoa Samoata, 20. After a standoff with police on the night of the shooting, Samoata was arrested and booked into San Diego Central Jail on two counts of attempted murder. The charge involving Briseno will now be upgraded to a murder count, the SDPD said.

Samoata is set to appear in court on Dec. 4.

Nov. 6, 2020: The Shooting and Standoff in City Heights

On Nov. 6 at around 9:30 p.m., Sandoval called 911 to report that he and his friend had been shot in the 1800 block of Rowan Street in City Heights.

When officers got to the area, they found Sandoval suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. Sandoval pointed officers to his friend – Briseno – who was seated inside a nearby car.

Briseno was wounded so badly, he would not survive.

The friends were taken to a local hospital. On Monday night, Briseno died from injuries suffered in the shooting, the SDPD confirmed. Sandoval is expected to pull through.

As police officers began investigating the shooting, investigators learned Sandoval and Briseno had arrived in San Diego from Central California to meet with Samoata to conduct some sort of deal involving pot.

During their meeting in City Heights, police said Samoata pulled out a gun and shot the men.

Samoata then fled to a nearby home, which set off a long night for law enforcement. He barricaded himself inside the home and refused – for about four hours – to come out.

SDPD SWAT and negotiators were called to facilitate the suspect’s peaceful surrender. Just after 1:35 a.m. on Nov. 7, Samoata surrendered to police and was arrested.

The investigation is ongoing. Police have not yet released further details on how the men knew one another or how they set up the meeting that turned deadly.

Anyone with information on the case can reach out to the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Booking records show Samoata is set to appear in court on Dec. 4.

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