SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A teenager has been arrested in connection with a deadly shooting at a Linda Vista basketball court last year.
A 16-year-old male was arrested on Tuesday and booked into Juvenile Hall for the murder of 19 year-old Nam Nguyen of San Diego, San Diego Police said.
On Nov. 8, 2019, police say the teenager was involved in an argument between groups at the basketball courts at Linda Vista Recreation Center. A staff member saw the altercation and told the groups he was calling the police. Minutes later, police say the teenage suspect pulled out a handgun and shot Nguyen, before fleeing the scene.
Nguyen was taken to a nearby hospital where he died of his injuries.
The suspect was not identified because he is a juvenile.
10News reported on a total of five shootings in the area from May to November.
"Violent crimes and poverty have plagued this neighborhood for decades," said Dr. Corey Pahanish, executive director at Bayside Community Center, a nonprofit providing a number of services to the Linda Vista community.
"Our primary roll in this neighborhood is to provide social services to one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods, Linda Vista," he said.
Pahanish works closely with the San Diego Police Department's western division. His goal is to improve conditions in Linda Vista, making it safer for the kids growing up there.
"This is starting to take some of the lives of the kids here in this neighborhood and that really stings, that really hurts," he said referring to the amount of shootings last year. "These are kids that didn't have the opportunity to see their life through because they were shot."
13-year-old Nick Hughes goes to the Linda Vista Skate Park often with his father. Last year he witnessed what no kid should ever see.
"All you heard was just 'bang bang bang bang bang' and I looked over and I just hear somebody else return fire at the other people and see them run across the field," he said describing a shootout he witnessed while skateboarding.
San Diego police noticed the increase in crime and upped their efforts to reduce it by adding more patrols throughout the neighborhood.
"What happens when the officers aren’t there or what happens when those patrols start to go away once again? Crimes increase," said Pahanish.
People we spoke to say they haven't noticed as much violence over the last few months, but Pahanish says more needs to be done at several different levels to get to the root of the problem.
"A lot of people don't know that it (Linda Vista) is one of San Diego's 6th most socioeconomically distressed neighborhoods," he said.
"There needs to be more after school programming for teens, programs that are helping to support single mothers in this neighborhood," he said. "Philanthropic support in this neighborhood."
Anyone who may have any more information regarding the incident is asked to call SDPD at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.