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US Navy sailor dies after being shot while stopping on highway to render aid – suspect facing murder charge

Police Line Crime Scene. (Tony Webster/WikiCommons)
October 31, 2018

A 21-year-old U.S. Navy sailor was shot and killed Saturday when he exited his vehicle to help someone on Interstate 15 in San Diego.

Curtis Adams and his girlfriend were driving along the interstate when they saw a driver in distress, Navy Times reported this week. The driver was pulled onto the shoulder and was standing next to a white car around 2:30 a.m.

Lt. Anthony Dupree, of the San Diego police, said that Adams and his girlfriend stopped to help, but as soon as Adams got out of his car, the driver, who appeared to be in distress, fired at Adams, hitting him in the upper chest.

Responders arrived on-scene to find Adams suffering from the gunshot wound. He was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest where he later died, according to NBC 7 San Diego.

Adams was on active duty in the Navy, where he had enlisted in March 2016, reported. He was a Steelworker Constructionman with the Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 in San Diego. He was also a native of Brooklyn, N.Y.

It was reported that the driver took off in his car and fled south.

San Diego Highway Patrol officers were able to apprehend a suspect on northbound I-5 near 32nd Street based on the information and descriptions from freeway cameras.

Brandon Acuna, 21, is being held for the death of Adams, and is charged with suspicion of first-degree murder and second-degree burglary. He has a long criminal history in the past three years since he was 18.

Just last month, Acuna was fined and sentenced to three years probation for a misdemeanor offense. In July, he pled guilty to a public nuisance charge, and last year, he pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine. He also had an earlier charge of driving on a suspended license.

Dupree said that Acuna may have not acted alone and may not have been the actual shooter, but authorities are investigating that possibility.

Police believe Acuna may also be involved in a different shooting that happened just minutes before Adams was shot. In that incident, a male was shot at when he approached two men trying to break into his car in the Mount Hope area, but he was not injured.

The investigations of both incidents are ongoing. Police have called on the community to provide any known information.