A San Diego police cruiser
A San Diego police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

 Detectives with the San Diego Police Department Friday are working with authorities in Texas to extradite a man suspected of shooting a woman to death at Pacific Beach last month.

Felipe Villegas is suspected of shooting Mary Garcia to death on Sept. 13 on the beach near 700 Reed Avenue, Lt. Adam T. Sharki of the San Diego Police Department said in a release. On Wednesday, San Diego police obtained an arrest warrant for Villegas, 27, who is in police custody in Texas.

Officers from the Northern Division of the SDPD responded to a call of a woman who was shot and located her being tended to by bystanders rendering aid at 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 13. Garcia appeared to have at least one gunshot wound to her upper body, police said. The 65-year-old Garcia was taken to a hospital by San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Daniel Caldera, 27, the victim’s son, was originally taken into police custody and suspected of shooting Garcia. Caldera was booked into jail on suspicion of murder, police said.

Following Caldera’s arrest, investigators continued to gather evidence and interview witnesses, and removed Caldera as a suspect. Detectives contacted the District Attorney’s Office to have all charges against Caldera dismissed. He was released from jail on Sept. 20.

Detectives gathered evidence that gave them probable cause that Villegas was Garcia’s suspected killer.

Detectives said after killing Garcia, Villegas left San Diego and drove to Texas. He was arrested in Pecos, Texas on Sept. 16 on unrelated charges in Pecos and Monahans, Texas, and remains in police custody in Texas. San Diego Police obtained an arrest warrant for Villegas on Wednesday and are working with Texas authorities to have him extradited to San Diego.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

— City News Service



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Ellen Bullock