Murder, graffiti stoke gang fears in South Bay

Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 14:44:07-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Neighbors in Imperial Beach believe new graffiti at a murder may be gang-related.

30-year-old Ricardo Sales was shot and killed last Tuesday on Donax Avenue near Florence Street.

Police arrested Osvaldo Lopez, 35, for the murder. Neighbors say someone has tagged walls and a tree near the site where Sales was killed with gang insignia.

“It seems like something I’ve heard before,” said neighbor Julian Cortez about the symbols, “it’s an uneasy feeling, like maybe there’s some kind of rivalry going on.”

Investigators do not believe Sales’ killing was gang-related, but residents just want whoever is leaving the markings to forget about IB.

“They’ve already caught the guy who did it so retribution will be done by the police,” said neighbor Steven Lang, “it’s not a good reminder for us.”

Ricardo Sales' family says the graffiti has nothing to do with gangs and just represents National City which is where Ricardo lived.

The Sales family says it was wrong for people to tag parts of the neighborhood in Ricardo's memory and that grief compels people in different ways.