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San Diego police: Woman shot to death in City Heights

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Posted at 6:25 AM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 19:39:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A woman was shot to death and a man was taken into custody in what police are calling a domestic violence incident in City Heights.

San Diego police said officers were called to a home in the 3800 block of 46th Street, near University Avenue, at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday in response to a domestic violence-related incident.

Witnesses told police they heard an argument between a man and a woman followed by at least one gunshot.

Officers arrived and found 29-year-old Julia Serrano with a single gunshot wound to the chest lying on the sidewalk in front of a pawn shop on University Avenue.

Despite performing life-saving measures, Serrano was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested a 28-year-old man, later identified as Fernando Avila, in connection with the shooting and recovered a firearm near the scene.

10News learned Serrano and Avila had two children together. Serrano's brother Juan Ruvalcaba said his sister tried to get out of the abusive relationship by filing for divorce.

“Just a couple weeks ago, my sister came to my mom's house early in the morning and apparently he had choked her,” Ruvalcaba said, adding that Avila had recently moved out of the couple's home. “I always thought in my mind, it seemed too easy that he just moved out...I'm thinking, he's gotta come back and start something with her."

There were no prior reports of domestic violence, police said.

The intersection of 46th Street and University Avenue was closed due to the investigation.

"Domestic Violence can affect anyone," the San Diego Police Department said in a release. "There are resources available for anyone who experiences, witnesses or hears about domestic abuse. We encourage everyone to seek assistance from the San Diego Family Justice Center.