Chicano Park mural
A mural in Chicano Park. Photo by Chris Stone

A man pleaded guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge this week in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy at Chicano Park.

Bryant Ruiz, 32, is slated to be sentenced later this year to 26 years in state prison for Oct. 23, 2020, shooting death of Brian Romo.

Just before 10 p.m. that night, officers responded to a parking lot at Chicano Park, where a large crowd was gathered, according to SDPD Lt. Andra Brown.

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.

At Ruiz’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Kyle Sutterley alleged the shooting was committed in retaliation for the murder of one of Ruiz’s fellow gang members, who was killed one day before Romo’s death. Ruiz, who was on parole and wearing a GPS ankle monitor due to his parole status, was tracked going from his home to the scene of the shooting and back on the night of Oct. 23, according to prosecutors.

Ruiz was arrested about five months later in connection with the shooting.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter, plus allegations that the killing benefited a criminal street gang and that he personally used a handgun.

–City News Service