San Diego

Suspected Church's Chicken Shooter Has Long Criminal Record

The man accused of fatally shooting one victim and wounding two others at a Church's Chicken has a history of serious gun, drug, and alcohol convictions.

The man who police and prosecutors said killed one employee and injured two others at a South Bay fast food restaurant has an extensive criminal record dating back nearly 30 years, court records confirm.

Albert Lee Blake, 49, was arrested Friday at a home in Memphis, Tennessee, in an operation carried out by the U.S. Marshals Service.

At around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, Blake is suspected of opening fire on three employees at the Church's Chicken restaurant on Del Sol Boulevard near Picador Boulevard.

As Blake awaits extradition to San Diego, NBC 7 Investigates obtained court records outlining his criminal history that dates back at least 29 years.

In his most recent case, court documents show Blake pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. Blake had faced four felony drug and weapons charges in that 2016 case.

A judge sentenced Blake to 270 days in county jail, ordered him to get substance abuse and mental health counseling, and prohibited him from associating with members of a dangerous San Diego county street gang. Blake was also ordered to serve three years probation.

According to court records, Blake had at least four prior felonies when he was arrested and charged in 2016. He also has at least two DUI convictions, and has been arrested at least three times for misdemeanor drug, alcohol and motor vehicle violations.

Blake violated his probation at least once in the 2016 criminal case, court records confirm.

Earlier this year in February, Blake was arrested for possessing a controlled substance. He admitted to that crime and was sentenced to one year in jail. But court documents show Blake was released early for time-served and remained on probation.

On Nov. 6, Blake allegedly shot Church's Chicken employee Maribel Ibañez, 28, who later died from her wounds. Employee Mario Rojas, 51, was shot in the arm and the stomach and has been in the ICU since the shooting. The third victim, employee Humberto Ruiz, has been released from the hospital.

The shooting occurred after an argument between employees and suspect Blake, which began when he reportedly tried to pay with a counterfeit $100 bill. He came back minutes later and shot at the employees from across the counter, SDPD Officer John Buttle said.

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