An 18-year-old man who allegedly took part in a botched holdup that ended in the fatal shooting of another young man in Point Loma pleaded not guilty Wednesday to eight felony counts, including murder, attempted murder and robbery.
Angel Garcia was arrested last week in connection with the Nov. 25 death of 18-year-old Eduardo Salguero, according to San Diego police.
Deputy District Attorney Miriam Hemming told the court on Wednesday that Salguero arranged to make a purchase via the Snapchat app and drove to meet with the supposed sellers in a parking lot behind the Vons supermarket in a shopping center on Midway Drive. Hemming declined to identify what had been offered for sale, citing the ongoing investigation.
At about 6 p.m., Salguero and another victim arrived in a car, at which point Garcia and an unidentified accomplice allegedly entered the vehicle and demanded money from the victims at gunpoint, the prosecutor said.
Salguero was shot in the back during the robbery attempt, and his acquaintance, who jumped out of the moving car, was shot at while fleeing, she said. The bullet missed the second victim but ended up hitting the building, according to Hemming, who pointed out that employees park in the rear of the store and also work on the loading dock.
The car ended up crashing into a retaining wall, according to San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs, who added that investigators believe Garcia and/or his alleged accomplice "sustained significant, head, leg and arm injuries" during the crash but were able to flee the scene.
Salguero was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police have not disclosed if the other suspect has been identified.
In addition to charges stemming from the Nov. 25 incident, Garcia is charged in a separate armed robbery that allegedly occurred on Nov. 6. Garcia was armed with a handgun in that incident as well, Hemming said. The victim's wallet, cellphone and other personal possessions were taken.
Salguero was not the first person to be killed on the access road behind the Point Loma shopping center. Alexander Mazin, 27, was killed in February 2018 not far from where Salguero was shot. Ernesto Castallenos Martinez, 44, was extradited from Mexico earlier this year.
Mazin's parents told reporters their son had been dating a woman whom Martinez previously had been involved with, and that Martinez had assaulted her several weeks prior to Mazin's slaying. He is currently awaiting trial on first-degree murder and other charges.
Garcia is being held on $3 million bail and is due back in court on Jan. 28.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.
City News Service contributed to this report -- Ed.