1 dead, 2 injured in shooting at Vons parking lot in Escondido

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A man was killed and two others were injured after they were shot in the parking lot of a Vons grocery store in Escondido Wednesday night, police said.

The incident happened around 8:20 p.m. at 351 W. Felicita Avenue. Escondido police said the three victims were sitting together in a vehicle in the Vons parking lot when they were shot.

Two men were taken to Palomar Medical Center, each with several gunshot wounds. One of the men later died. The third man suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was expected to survive.  

The man who died was later identified as 35-year-old Miguel Pedroza Fuentes. The two survivors are the victim's brother, 32-year-old Martin Fuentes and 28-year-old Wesley Smith. All are from Escondido. Both remain hospitalized.

Martin Fuentes was shot three times in the chest, police said.

Investigators believe the three men were targeted. Police said an argument broke out between four men in a car and another man, and Lt. Eric Skaja added, "Then the shooter pulled out a gun, started walking along and shooting the occupants in the vehicle."

The victims did not return fire, police said.

Shopper Ruth Martinez said, "You never know what can happen and if it's safe to even shop at your neighborhood grocery store. It's sad, it's very sad."
Martinez, whose daughter was at the gym in the same shopping center when the bullets started flying, added, "Things can happen in broad daylight and it's very scary to live in a world like that where there is no safe place to be."

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male who was 18 to 20 years old. He had multiple tattoos, no facial hair and was wearing dark clothing and a black hat.

"There were several witnesses in the area, 30 to 40 people in the parking lot that heard or saw part of this," said Skaja.

Police are still trying to figure out if the shooter and the victims knew each other.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 760-743-TIPS (8477). A $1,000 reward may be awarded for information that helps solve this crime.

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