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Family mourns loss of teen killed in Shelltown park shooting

Posted at 4:53 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 12:10:10-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A grieving family is pleading for tips after a teenager was gunned down at a park in Shelltown.

On a picnic table near the edge of the Southcrest Community Park, stuffed animals and flowers are part of a growing tribute to a life cut short.

"She had a big personality and very loving," said Ben Lovell.

Lovell says his 19-year-old niece, Leah Horne, always lit up a room. On Saturday, he learned the girl with the larger than life personality had lost her life.

"Disbelief and then anger. How could this happen? Confusion. Why her?" said Lovell.

Late Friday, just before midnight, Kiki Woodworth says Horne and her friend Adan Duque - and two of their friends - came to the park to visit her and hang out.

"She was sitting on the bench. He was sitting next to her, his arm and jacket around her," said Woodworth.

Woodworth went to cook some food at another table. 15 minutes went by.

"All of a sudden, I heard the 'Crack, crack, crack,'" said Woodworth.

She ran toward the group and her heart dropped.

"I believe they were trying to run. He was laying on the ground and she was laying near him. My eyesight is bad, but I saw someone running away," said Woodworth.

She says Horne was shot once and Duque twice. One of their friends called 911. Woodworth tended to her two friends.

"I told them how much we love them ... how they needed to stay," said Woodworth.

Duque is expected to survive, but Horne later died at the hospital.

Police have not revealed a motive, but they don't believe it's a random shooting. The family of Horne, who dreamed of being a cosmetologist, is hoping a witness will step forward.

"I am searching for justice. She wasn't able to achieve the life she deserved," said Woodworth.

Police say two men in their 20s, wearing dark clothing, were seen running from the area. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.