San Diego

Man Shot to Death in Front of Businesses in Pauma Valley: Deputies

Raymond Esparza, 31, was shot Friday night along the 17000 block of State Route 76

A man was shot and killed in front of some small businesses Friday night in Pauma Valley, homicide detectives said.

Just after 9:30 p.m., San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) deputies were called to the 17000 block of State Route 76 – a rural area about 50 miles north of downtown San Diego – to investigate reports of a shooting.

When officers arrived, they discovered a man suffering from gunshot wounds, lying in the parking lot in front of a mini-mart and restaurant. Paramedics tried to save the man, but he died from his injuries at the scene, the SDSO said.

Hours later, after an autopsy was completed, the SDSO identified the victim as Pauma Valley resident Raymond Esparza, 31. He died from a gunshot wound, officials said; his death is being investigated as a homicide.

Lt. Ken Nelson told NBC 7 on Saturday that those involved in the shooting were customers at one of the businesses; he was unable to release further details, as the investigation is still unfolding. He said there were a number of witnesses, and deputies are in the process of questioning them.

Nelson said that as of 2:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies had not yet made any arrests in connection with the deadly shooting.

Nelson said deputies would like to speak with any other witnesses who have information about this crime. Witnesses can reach out to the SDSO’s Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321 or the after-hours line at (858) 565-5200. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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