SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A parolee accused in the gang-related slaying of a 15-year-old boy at Chicano Park last fall pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder.
Bryant Ruiz, 30, is accused in the Oct. 23 shooting of Brian Romo of San Diego, according to police.
Shortly before 10 that night, officers responding to reports of gunfire in the 2000 block of National Avenue arrived to find a large crowd gathered in a parking lot at Chicano Park, Lt. Andra Brown said.
The group scattered, including two people who jumped out of a silver sedan and ran off, Brown said.
The victim was found inside the car, suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Medics took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Ruiz was arrested March 22 in connection with the shooting, though he was already in custody at the time on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors allege that Ruiz is part of a gang set at war with a rival gang, resulting in at least five shootings since October, including Romo’s shooting death.
The shooting allegedly was committed in retaliation because one of Ruiz’s fellow gang members was killed one day prior to Romo’s shooting.
Ruiz, who was wearing a GPS ankle monitor due to his parole status, was allegedly tracked going from his home to the scene of the shooting and back on the night of Oct. 23, according to prosecutors.
In addition to murder, Ruiz faces numerous firearm and gang-related allegations and remains in custody without bail.
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