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Family: Sheriff Failed to Protect Ex-Sailor from Shooting

Family and friends have said that the San Diego County Sheriff's Department should have done more to keep Victor Saucedo safe. A sheriff's deputy recommended he file a restraining order in April.

Patrol cars surrounded Victor Saucedo's Imperial Beach apartment building Tuesday, but it wasn't the first time the sheriff's department was called to his home.

Before his shooting death, a local sheriff’s deputy suggested Saucedo get a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, who now stands accused of first-degree murder.

The deputy suggested a restraining order April 18 around 1 a.m. after peanut butter was smeared on Saucedo's front door and windows.

"It can be argued whether or not a restraining order would have stopped that situation. But at least if there’s a restraining order on file, we could arrest her for coming near him,” said Lt. Marco Garmo, who runs the Imperial Beach substation.

Emergency protective orders can be filed in some cases, he said, but even if an order was filed, beyond calling 911, there may not be much deputies can do to stop a determined shooter.

"If someone wants to shoot you, they're going to shoot you," he said.

Saucedo's property was vandalized eight times and reported to sheriff deputies five times, said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the sheriff's Homicide Unit.

His car tires were slashed twice, his apartment was egged multiple times and a jar was thrown through his window.

Since it could not be proven that she was responsible, no charges were ever filed against Bray, Giannantonio said, which may be the reason why he never got a restraining order.

"Him telling a judge 'I think she 's doing it' is probably not enough to get a judge to issue a restraining order," he said.

A memorial service was held Wednesday evening at the foot of the pier to remember the life of Saucedo, a Navy veteran who was shot Tuesday and killed in his apartment next to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center.

Hours later his ex-girlfriend 24-year-old Vegas Bray was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Bray will be arraigned Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the South Bay Courthouse in Chula Vista.

Stephanie Stratton, the maternal grandmother of Saucedo's 6-year-old son Jeremiah, said "the police didn't do a thing to help him."

"Now, this child has to grow up without his father in his life. That is the saddest thing when you wake up in the morning and tell him that his daddy is not going to pick him up.", Stratton told Fox 5 and a crowd of about 60 people. A second candlelight vigil is scheduled Thursday at 6 p.m.

Friends also said they believe the sheriff's department didn't take Saucedo seriously because it was a woman harassing a man.

Sheriff records state that Saucedo did not file a restraining order.

Stratton told U-T San Diego that Saucedo got a life insurance policy two weeks ago and tried to get a restraining order, but he was told he didn't have enough evidence.

Restraining orders are approved or denied by the San Diego County Superior Court. Individuals who are under a restraining order are not allowed to posses a firearm.

Garmo said he wasn’t sure if Saucedo was ever physically intimidated by the woman, Vegas Bray.

“He was a pretty big guy, and she was pretty small,” Garmo told IB Patch.

Still, he emphasized that all domestic disturbances are treated the same.

"I can't tell you how many times we take women to jail for domestic violence," he said. "We don't differentiate, whether it's a gay couple or female on male, it's all the same to us."

Discrimination can threaten a deputy's job and livelihood, Garmo said.

"There's no deputy sheriff out there that's not going to arrest a woman or not take it seriously," he said.

Fayette (Davis) Driskell October 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Sir, I am so sorry for your loss of a very close friend..I am sure there will be a whole squadron of them. Sometimes the loss of a close friend is just as determental to that of a relative, not to say of a military man that was serving his country, giving his life, now, had his life taken. Yes, jealousy has a hard covering, & those who contain it are lost souls...keep the memories of him in your heart & foremost in your mind..it will get you thru this & help you to forgive..not forget..but for his sons sake, forgive...
Justice will prevail October 24, 2012 at 10:46 PM
@ Fayette there was no negligence on Victors part. He wasn't a single Daddy he was a co-parent. One who got along well with his baby's mom. His son was his world and I'm sure he continues to be. So for all of you who like to speculate and say protection is a self responsibility he was just doing that. He would never resort to violence especially towards a female. He was also moving soon but you dont hear her telling that part in her story do you. Yeah cause not everyone knew for the same reason so he could protect himself, his son & friends. You should all know there is no worse fury than that of a SCORN JEALOUS Woman. Plus instead of assuming he wasn't protecting himself let the court play out and the evidence proof she MURDERED Vic. She is still alive and able to give her side of the story (bunch of lies from a delusional psycho) But Vic wasn't given the chance to give his side of the story. And I'm sorry but Victor did NOT deserve not one bit to be executed cause that's exactly what she did. If it was "self defense" like her mother has stated then how did she find the strength to reload the gun? I mean she had already shot him 6 times!
karma October 26, 2012 at 03:03 PM
She will be served! 50 YEARS to LIFE!!!! WE LOVE YOU VICTOR <3 I know Victor will finally rest in peace once she is convicted! It won't bring him back, but JUSTICE needs to be served! & will be!!
Chico&The Man October 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Trial are you kidding me shell get the max sentence supreme idiot... “Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.”
Yo April 25, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Issues are brought amongs the person or persons. Leaving the responsibly to an Agency who deals not just with one problem but millions is not accepting responsibly for his or her actions. There r resourses out there for all citizens to seek if needed. Yes, if u need professional advise or if advise is given to u, it's the person responsibly to take action. For those who blame law enforcement for doing nothing about this situation is wrong. So the next time u may need help or find yr self dialing 911, do yr self a favor by turning away, hang up the phone or contact a criminal to deal with yr problem!! For those that r against Law Enforcement - wait and see when Justice is served for Victor. Let this Monday rot in hell as she will...

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