The parents of a young man who lost his life seven years ago to an apparent stray bullet during a Labor Day weekend gathering in Balboa Park put out another somber call Friday for help in finding his killer.
"He was a sweetheart, and he really didn't deserve what he got," Donna Robinson said in a choked voice while urging anyone with knowledge about the cold-case shooting of her 23-year-old son, Brandon, to contact law enforcement.
Shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2009, the victim was preparing to leave a birthday celebration at Morley Field. He was seated on his parked motorcycle, texting a friend, when he suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the
head -- even though he was wearing his helmet. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
The Morse High School graduate, who lived with his parents in the Skyline area, knew only a few of the revelers at that Sunday evening party off Jacaranda Drive, his father told reporters.
"I don't think he was probably there (any) more than about an hour ... and after that he was ready to go," Larry Robinson said. "So I have no idea who would have done it, because my son didn't have enemies."
Answers have been elusive in the case, despite a monetary incentive of $51,000 -- most of it from the California Governor's Reward Program -- available since eight months after the slaying.
Donna and Larry Robinson, retirees who now live in Rancho San Diego, are convinced that there are people harboring information that could help identify the shooter, particularly since the crime scene was well-populated.
"So if you were scared then, come forward now, because it might be your son or daughter the next time," the father said during a midday news conference outside downtown San Diego police headquarters.
The parents described their late son as a hard-working man who loved the outdoors and steered clear of trouble. He worked two jobs, one for FedEx at Lindbergh Field and the other at a Victoria's Secret lingerie store, they said.
Their overriding goal since his killing has been "catching the so-and-so that did it," the father said.
"That's about the only closure (we're) going to get," he said. "You can't bring your loved one back. So the most you can get out of this is trying to get some justice. And that's all we're looking for."
Their hope is that the passage of years has worked on someone's conscience enough to make him or her amenable to revealing a key fact about the fatal shooting.
"People grow up," Donna Robinson said. "They change. And maybe somebody feels bad about what happened to Brandon and they feel that it's the right thing to do to step forward and shed light on the situation. ... I know that vengeance is the Lord's, but I'm hoping that my baby gets justice."
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers -- which put up $1,000 of the reward fund -- at (888) 580-8477, or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous.