Man found dead near Hillcrest apartment complex: Homicide investigation under way

SAN DIEGO - A man was found dead behind a small Hillcrest apartment complex early Wednesday, triggering a homicide investigation, police said.

Officers responded to a call about a "person down" in the 3900 block of First Avenue shortly after midnight, according to San Diego police Lt. Ernie Herbert.

Once there, officers found the man and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, the lieutenant said in a statement. His identity was not immediately determined, he said.

Residents of the apartment complex told police they saw the man drinking alcohol with two other men in a patio area around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. At some point, the man got into a physical altercation with one of the other two men and at the end of the fight, the other two men left, Herbert said.

"Residents who witnessed the incident believed the man was sleeping off his intoxication but when they checked his welfare early this morning, they discovered he was dead," Herbert said.

An autopsy was expected to be performed Thursday to determine the cause and manner of death.

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