City Heights man shoots city water worker who he thought was an intruder

Case of mistaken identity
Posted at 7:30 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 23:51:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Darkness had already fallen on Labor Day, when 79-year old Nathan Brogan thought he heard a man trying to break into his house on Meade Avenue in University Heights. 

Brogan grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun and went to his front porch. He pulled the trigger just once.

A man fell at the corner of his property as neighbors rushed to help stop the bleeding.

The man was a City of San Diego water department employee who had just finished emergency repairs to a severed water pipe, and was going door-to-door to tell residents their water was running again.

One of the people who heard the shot was off-duty nurse, Lorena Sweet. 18:55  “I just ran across the street and came right up to the side, saw that he’d been shot. I looked around to see where the shooter was, but honestly I was more concerned with him. So I just got down, I assessed his wounds, looked at him, talked to him, and just started immediately holding pressure.”

The man, who has only been identified as a 55-year old 30-year employee of the water department, had wounds in his chest and an arm.  

Sweet and two other neighbors tended to the man as Brogan watched from his front porch, still holding the shotgun.  He did not point it at the people now helping the man in his front yard.

One of them said Brogan looked disoriented.

San Diego Police arrested Brogan and charged him with 3 felonies, including attempted murder.  His arraignment is set for later this week.

A spokesman for the city water department said the worker is in stable condition, but would not release any other information.

Lorena Sweet described him as a "very, very nice man".  She prayed with him and believes the two of them were brought together for a reason.

"It was really amazing," Sweet said the day after the incident. " It just felt like you never knew you would be in a place, but once you were there, you knew that was meant to be.”