Man, 26, shot and killed in East San Diego County

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

One man was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon in the Lakeside community of San Diego’s East County.

The shooting happened at the 9700 block of Cactus Street around 3:09 p.m., according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Sanchez.

Later Tuesday night, the victim was identified as 26-year-old Michael Anthony Johnson, sheriff’s deputies said.

The suspect is still outstanding and there is no confirmed suspect information, sheriff’s deputies said.

Homicide detectives are investigating the incident.

Both the sheriff’s department and Lakeside Fire Department responded to the scene.

Witnesses and loved ones speak

“I was just with him two days ago. I literally have no idea. I can’t get information from the cops,“ Alicia Ford said.

Ford says the 26 year old man killed was her best friend.

She says he didn’t live on Cactus Street but has many friends and family that do live in the neighborhood.

Neighbors told NBC 7 they heard one gunshot, which means it wasn’t a gun fight and that the victim didn’t fire back. When they came out, they saw the victim sitting in the street with his back up against a car. It’s not clear whether it was his car or someone else’s car or whether he was coming to the neighborhood or leaving it.

Francisco Montoya was in his apartment, just steps away from the shooting.

“I heard a loud pop. I thought it was like fireworks or something,” Montoya said.

He stepped outside and saw a man in a black hoody escaping on foot, Montoya said.   

Sergio Rodriguez is an Amazon delivery driver who was parked nearby. He was just starting his lunch break.

“He was in the street laid down obviously and he was shot in the head,“ Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez saw a black or dark blue Honda civic speeding away.

Suzanne Acosta manages the nearby El Capitan Apartments.

“I don’t know who got shot but it’s still sad,“ Acosta said.

She heard the shot and recorded video of first responders getting to the scene.

“They were trying to revive him. Immediately the paramedics came and they were trying to do CPR on him,“ Acosta said.

The investigation continues

The victim did not survive. Why he was killed is still a mystery.

The search for the killer and possible accomplices led deputies and a canine officer through several nearby backyards. They came back empty-handed.

“Yeah, it is a little unnerving. I’m just telling my tenants to keep their doors and windows locked, “ Acosta said.

For all the questions still to answer, it’s the loss that has such a grip on the hearts and minds of friends and loved ones.

According to county law enforcement statistics, there have been 17 homicides in the last 10 years. Eight of them were reported in the last five years.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.