San Diego news watch: Suspect arrested in string of homeless slayings

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A suspect has been arrested in San Diego’s recent series of murders of homeless men.
Jon David Guerrero, 39, was taken into custody after police assembled a “significant amount of evidence” against him, according to the chief of police. Guerroro was himself the resident of a homeless shelter and had battled mental illness for some time.

The killings were pretty brutal and gruesome:

The police launched a citywide manhunt for the killer on July 3 after firefighters found the body of a homeless man who had been killed and then set on fire. Another homeless man was found dead the next day. Police have declined to say how they were killed. Several more attacks, one of them fatal, took place in the following days.

The police apprehended Mr. Guerrero after yet another attack on a sleeping homeless man early Friday morning. Mr. Guerrero, who the police said matched descriptions of the assailant from previous attacks, was found in the area on a bicycle after the latest victim yelled for help.


Often as Comic-Con approaches, there are local stories to be negotiated –– one year there was a bad smell over the area from a lot of dead squid — but there’s nothing amusing about this story. San Diego has a large homeless population and there have been occasional squabbles with con-goers over the years, but its mostly just the urban frisson one finds in most cities. Between the All-Star Game (held last week in San Diego) and Comic-Con, authoriies have been trying to clean up downtown:

With the MLB All-Star Game just weeks away, the city recently posted signs instructing hundreds of homeless people living on the streets near Petco Park that they had just 72 hours to vacate the area.

Yellow ‘Notice of Cleanup and Property Removal’ signs were posted on light poles near the ballpark on June 23, giving the homeless until Monday to clean up and move out.

“All property left unattended in this area on that day will be removed,” the signs state. Any debris left behind will be destroyed.

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