La Mesa

Reward Offered for Suspects After Sailor Is Gunned Down on His La Mesa Doorstep

A local active-duty sailor is gunned down in the threshold of his own apartment .

NBC Universal, Inc.

A locally based active-duty sailor was gunned down on his doorstep over the weekend, according to police

Investigators are asking for the public’s help and are offering a $1,000 reward to catch the men who did it.

Corneilius Donte Brown, 22, was gunned down in his La Mesa apartment after answering an unexpected knock at the door, La Mesa police said. Half past midnight Saturday, two men dressed in ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts showed up at the door. When Brown opened it, one of the two began shooting.

Three shots were fired. Two hit Brown in the chest and neck.

Corneilius Donte Brown

Responding officers tried to save him, but Brown died in surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

"This is a deep and tragic loss for the USS Abraham Lincoln family," Navy spokesman Brian O'Rourke said in an emailed statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Petty Officer Brown's family and loved ones."

O'Rourke told NBC 7 that Petty Officer 3rd Class Brown, who was from South Carolina, joined the Navy in February 2018. After boot camp and school, he was assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and was stationed at Naval Base Coronado.

Brown was living in an apartment in the 4300 block of Echo Court apartment when he was killed. Police responded to 911 calls for help in less than four minutes, but the shooters managed to run away, police said.

Who they are and what, if any, connection they might have to the victim, are as much a mystery as the motive for this killing.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call La Mesa police at 619-667-1400. Tips can be called in anonymously to San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-590-TIPS.

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