OCEANSIDE — A 16-year-old male was arrested on Aug. 30 as a suspect in the murder of Oceanside resident Martin Swan. The fatal shooting occurred a day earlier at Melba Bishop Park.
According to Oceanside Police, Swan, 49, was walking his dogs with his roommate when two people approached him, got into an altercation with Swan and shot him.
Police arrived at the scene around 10 p.m. and found Swan with a gunshot wound in the park’s field area.
Tom Bussey, Oceanside Police public information officer, said the park was very dark that evening. It was closed for the night and the field lights were off.
Police officers and firefighters provided immediate life-saving measures, but Swan succumbed to his injuries.
The murder suspect is an Oceanside resident, who is believed to have gang ties. He was arrested at a nearby hospital after seeking medical aid. Police confirmed he is being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound that occurred during the incident. He is expected to be released from the hospital by Sept. 1 to face charges.
Swan was a lieutenant at Camp Pendleton.
Many people shared their prayers and sympathy for the victim and his family on Facebook.
Jimmy Figueroa, an Oceanside resident, encouraged the community to work together.
“Two weeks ago my family and I had an amazing time at Melba Bishop Park as we attended the annual Movement Outreach event along with many friends,” Figueroa said. “Praying for our families and community. Praying for Oceanside. We have to work together to create and sustain change.”
According to City-Data.com, Oceanside has seen an increase in murders in recent years. From 2011 to 2013 there were seven to nine murders a year. This is more than double the number that occurred in the prior four years, which ranged from three to five annually. In 2015 the city saw another spike of nine murders. Data was not available for 2016 or 2017.
The investigation into the Aug. 29 murder is ongoing as police continue to speak to witnesses and review evidence.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police tip line at (760) 435-4730.