An arraignment hearing was postponed on Friday for a 37-year-old man who was set to face a murder charge for allegedly killing an 88-year-old vet who caught him robbing his Rolando-area clinic , authorities said.
San Diego police believe the vet likely disrupted an ongoing burglary at the vet clinic on the 7000 block of El Cajon Boulevard around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The man and the suspect, identified as Patrick O’Brien, a 37-year-old San Diego resident, had a confrontation of sorts that left the victim with head and other injuries, police said. .
When officers arrived, a “worried citizen” had detained the suspect behind the daycare, police said. Police located the injured man inside and medics transported him to a nearby hospital, but he did not survive his injuries.
Police arrested O’Brien and took him into custody on one count of first-degree murder. He was being held without bail, with an arraignment scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The vet has yet to be publicly identified, but a friend and business owner confirmed his identity to NBC 7 on Friday. The longtime vet has been described as “a big figure in the neighborhood”.
“He was someone we could come to. He worked with you, he wasn’t greedy. He was a wonderful, wonderful man and we lost a very good person,” the vet’s friend said and client of 30 years, Joseph Mendez. “He and his wife were just cornerstones of the community. Someone very precious was stolen from us, and I hope the young man who did it pays with his life.”