NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - As police search for whoever shot and killed a man at a World Cup viewing party in National City, friends and family continue to mourn the victim.
Officers dispatched to the Rincon Del Mar restaurant in the 300 block of Highland Avenue near East Division Street shortly after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday found the 36-year-old victim on a sidewalk suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, National City police said.
The man was fatally injured during a fight that broke out amid a watch party for the Mexico-Brazil World Cup match, according to broadcast reports. The altercation spilled out into the street where shots were fired, police told reporters.
The victim was identified through friends and family members as Josue Crook. According to family members, Crook died as he tried to break up the fight.
Paramedics took Crook to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest where he died from his injuries.
Police told 10News that a surveillance camera outside of the restaurant does not work.
Alfredo Diaz, a friend of Crook's, said, "We came from the streets and we lived that hard life, you know, and to see a person like him that made it up and made it out, it's hope and inspiration."
Crook, a nurse's assistant, became involved in the Cornerstone Church of San Diego, where he was an usher -- a far cry from his troubled teen years.
"We slept on rooftops, couldn't go home because we're all in trouble and we used to steal from all these stores on Highland because we were hungry. We would mob in packs, loot the place and walk out," Diaz said.
Many took to Facebook to mourn:
"RIP Josue Crook. You will truly be missed. Outstanding man of God."
"So sad, why does it have to be like this?????"
"He left behind 3 beautiful daughters and a son."
Another friend told of a good man with deep Christian beliefs.
"He had a heart for God and I'm still in disbelief right now. He's just a good person. He would always smile, laugh, crack jokes; just a real happy dude, man," the friend told 10News.
National City police told 10News they are sure the suspected shooter is a man, but other details remain sketchy.
A fundraiser has been set up for Crook's family. If you'd like to help, click here.