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Case involving 13-year-old boy goes to Homicide

The 13-year-old Fallbrook boy who was shot March 31 in a gang-related incident in Vista succumbed to his injuries in an area hospital May 9. The investigation into the shooting, previously labeled as an assault with a deadly weapon has now become a homicide case.

Lieutenant Dennis Brugos of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division confirmed his agency is now involved.

“We have now teamed up with the North County Gang Task Force in this investigation,” said Brugos. “That will allow for continuity in the case.”

Brugos said no arrests have been made in the case yet, but investigators are being diligent.

“They are putting forth a lot of effort in this case,” he said.

It is believed by detectives that the 13-year-old went to Vista with a brother and a cousin to conduct an act of aggression and/or retaliation following recent assaults made on Fallbrook gang members by some from Vista.

“It’s my understanding that they were looking for trouble,” said Lt. Phil Brust, commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation. “There were words exchanged and then shots were fired that ended up hitting the 13-year-old.”

The incident took place in the north central portion of Vista referred to as the “Townside” area, which is known for its gang infestation. Detectives at the Vista Sheriff’s Station define the Townside area as follows: southern boundary Vista Village Drive/Vista Way and Olive; northern boundary Bobier Drive; with the area running east and west of North Santa Fe.

Brugos said no major changes will be made in the way the investigation is being handled, as he feels the efforts underway are on track.

“We won’t make a lot of changes at this point, because it’s been actively worked,” said Brugos.

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