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Alpha Project security guard shot, killed outside East Village shelter

Posted at 9:22 PM, Dec 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-29 20:16:53-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A security guard at a homeless shelter in San Diego's East Village was shot and killed Saturday night, according to police.

Police say the shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. on the 1500 block of Newton Avenue, in front of the Alpha Project Bridge Shelter.

"The guy that passed away was a very good guy. He looked out for all the residents," shelter resident, Matthew Davenny said.

10News spoke to Alpha Project President & CEO, Bob McElroy over the phone. He said the victim was one of six or seven unarmed Alpha Project security guards on duty Saturday night. The victim was on his way back to the shelter after taking a lunch break, when he was gunned down on the sidewalk.

McElroy said the victim worked with him on and off for a few years. He just started back up in November, as a full-time security guard at the Bridge Shelter.

Since this tragedy, McElroy said they are now talking with the City of San Diego to make changes in their security protocols. They are considering hiring a private security firm with armed guards, instead of their own.

McElroy, the staff, and residents all shared their devastation with 10News.

"The streets, they don't make friends. They make family. And when one goes, it's like our hearts go out to everybody that was involved," Davenny said.

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The shooting sparked a shelter-in-place, as 128 people took shelter inside the building.

Police are currently looking at the shelter's cameras to gather more information on the suspect. At this time, no description has been given.

Streets surrounding the shelter also closed as police investigated.

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At this time, no suspects have been arrested.