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Court documents reveal details in Church's Chicken murder investigation

Posted at 12:10 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 18:28:45-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Court documents reveal details on the investigation into a deadly shooting at a South Bay Church’s Chicken, including how police were able to track down the accused gunman.

On Nov. 6, San Diego police said Albert Blake walked into a Church’s Chicken restaurant on Del Sol Boulevard in Otay Mesa and opened fire on three workers, injuring two and killing Maribel Ibanez.

After fleeing the scene, Blake was eventually located and arrested on Nov. 22 in Memphis, Tennessee. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.

In court documents obtained by 10News, a cook at the restaurant told officers that a man had come into the restaurant and tried to pay for food with a $100 bill.

According to the documents, Ibanez was working at the cash register and refused to take the bill. The customer, the documents stated, became upset and left the eatery.


-- TIMELINE: Events that led to Church's Chicken shooting
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-- Witness saves victim of Church's Chicken shooting
-- Suspect in deadly Church's Chicken shooting pleads not guilty
-- Accused restaurant gunman arrested in Memphis
-- Shooting suspect has lengthy criminal history

The cook told officers the same man returned 10 minutes later and stood in line with his hands inside of his sweatshirt. According to the cook, Ibanez turned around to the kitchen and said, “He is back.”

Moments later, the cook said gunfire rang out.

The documents show investigators ran a photo captured by a surveillance camera in a database and found cars that matched the description of the vehicle Blake had drove away in.

Investigators learned that the vehicle was a part of a traffic stop conducted in September; body camera footage from that encounter showed the driver was Albert Blake.

From that point, documents showed investigators focused on Blake as the suspect in the shooting.

With assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, Blake was captured in Tennessee.