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One dead in La Mesa shooting

A fight between two men in a commercial district near Helix High School escalated into a shooting that left one of them dead on Friday, La Mesa police said.

The men got into an argument for unknown reasons in front of a gas station on University Avenue near Olive Avenue in La Mesa about 9:30 a.m., according to police.

The dispute soon turned into a scuffle that ended when one of the combatants pulled a handgun and fired several shots at the other, mortally
wounding him, Lt. Katy Lynch said.

The shooter then fled to the west with a female companion in a small dark-colored SUV.

Paramedics took the wounded man, a 44-year-old La Mesa resident, to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where he was pronounced dead, the lieutenant said. The victim’s name was withheld pending family notification.

Police were unable to provide a detailed description of the shooter who remained at large in the mid-afternoon.

Police believe the suspect and the victim were acquainted, according to Lynch.

“There’s some connection between them, but we haven’t figured out what yet,” she said.

Police shut down the westbound lanes of University Avenue between Parks Avenue and Culbertson Street to allow for investigation of the fatal shooting. The closure remained in effect in the mid-afternoon.

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