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Shooter sentenced nearly 34 years after stray bullet killed passing bicyclist in Encanto

A judge on Thursday sentenced a man to 11 years in state prison for fatally shooting a passing bicyclist more than three decades ago in Encanto.

Leovardo Salceda, 52, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 37-year-old Oliver Harrison, who was shot on July 31, 1988. Detectives arrested Salceda for the shooting in February 2021.

Police said Harrison, who was riding a bicycle on 61st Street, was struck by a stray bullet fired during an altercation between Salceda and another man. Harrison died about an hour later at a hospital.

At his sentencing hearing, Salceda told the victim’s family he was “very sorry,” but said, “unfortunately, I was put in a position where I had to defend myself for having a gun pointed at me.”

Though investigators quickly identified a “person of interest” around the time of the shooting, the case went cold because witnesses were uncooperative, San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs said last year in a statement announcing Salceda’s arrest.

Eventually cold case units within the Police Department and District Attorney’s Office picked up the case and developed enough information to arrest Salceda, according to Dobbs, who said there were “no big breaks, just persistence.”

Detectives arrested Salceda Feb. 10, 2021, at a downtown San Diego homeless shelter where he was staying, Dobbs said.

The victim, who was developmentally disabled, lived with the grandmother who raised him, The San Diego Union reported at the time. He was shot while riding from his home to his aunt’s home in Encanto.

Staff writers Alex Riggins and Teri Figueroa contributed to this report.

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