VISTA, Calif. -- An investigation was underway Wednesday into the possibly gang-related killing of a teenager whose body was found in a pool of blood in the middle of a roadway in Vista, close to the boundary with San Marcos.
The unidentified victim, who was between 16 and 18 years old, had suffered "severe trauma to his upper body" sometime before a deputy responding to a call from the public came upon the body in traffic on southbound Smilex Road just south of state Route 78 shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, sheriff's homicide Lt. Kenneth Nelson said. Several witnesses told investigators they heard multiple gunshots ring out just beforehand.
A witness told 10News that she saw the teen's body with severe head trauma while driving home from work and called 911.
Nelson said a motive for the violence has yet to be determined, but it was possible the slaying was gang-related. No suspect information was immediately available.
The 400 block of Smilax Road was closed until just before 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call the sheriff's department at 858-974-2321, or after hours, at 858-565-5200. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.