Authorities released the name Tuesday of the man shot to death last weekend during a fracas at an Escondido bar — allegedly by his felon brother, and apparently by accident.
Antonio Martinez, 35, was fighting with two other men at Pounders Sports Pub on West Grand Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday when his 32-year-old sibling, documented gang member Manuel Eliseo Martinez, allegedly opened fire, according to police.
The gunshots mortally wounded Antonio Martinez and left one of the other combatants with non-life-threatening injuries, Escondido Police Department Lt. Chris Lick said.
The events that led to the shooting began a short time earlier, when Antonio and Manuel Martinez walked out of the tavern, got into a car and sped off recklessly, prompting a patron of the bar to yell at the departing brothers in protest, Lick said.
Hearing the angry shouts, the two siblings doubled back, got out of the vehicle and allegedly began assaulting the man who had chastised them.
“Manuel (Martinez) pointed a firearm at the patron as (his brother) punched and attacked the patron,” Lick said.
A bystander soon intervened, grabbing Antonio Martinez in an attempt to break up the fight, at which point the younger brother allegedly fired off two rounds.
The wounded men were taken to a hospital, where Antonio Martinez was pronounced dead.
“The third-party victim did not know Antonio or Manuel Martinez and does not have any gang ties,” Lick said.
When police arrived in response to the gunfire, witnesses identified Manuel Martinez as the alleged shooter, Lick said. Martinez fled but was arrested following a foot chase and a brief struggle with officers.
Manuel Martinez — a wanted suspect in three other violent crimes that have occurred in Escondido since last October — was jailed on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, possession of a weapon to commit an assault, carrying a loaded firearm in public, being a gang member and a felon in possession of a gun, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and resisting arrest.
–City News Service
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