San Diego Police officers at the scene of the 2019 homicide in Bay Terraces. Three men face charges in the death. Courtesy OnScene.TV

One of three men accused in a gang-related shooting in Bay Terraces pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and other charges.

John Orozco, 26, stands accused, along with Ethan Apan, 28, and Kevin Herrera, 26, in the slaying of Joaquin Ruiz, 20.

San Diego police originally received a report on July 12, 2019, of a possible traffic accident in the 7000 block of Paradise Valley Road, according to SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs.

Officers arrived to find Ruiz unconscious and suffering from a gunshot wound. Paramedics took the victim to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Eacret alleged that Orozco and his co-defendants targeted the victim in retaliation for the slaying of an allied gang member a week earlier.

Though he declined to comment on which of the defendants allegedly shot Ruiz, Eacret said they drove alongside Ruiz’s vehicle and used a semi-automatic rifle.

The prosecutor said police searched Orozco’s home in April and found several firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police arrested Orozco Nov. 11. They took the other two defendants into custody on Tuesday. The authorities have not revealed how they connected the men to Ruiz’s killing.

Bail was set at $1 million for Orozco, whose next court date is Dec. 22. County jail records indicate Apan and Herrera, who are both being held without bail, are slated to be arraigned Dec. 4.

– City News Service

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