How did well-loved teacher end up in deadly fight? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How did well-loved teacher end up in deadly fight?

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EL CAJON (CBS 8) - We're learning more about the man who died after a fight with an off-duty deputy and a teenager last Sunday. Those who knew him say 33-year-old Gabriel Vanegas was a well-loved first grade teacher at McGill School of Success in San Diego.

There are more questions than answers for the distraught loved ones of the South Park first grade teacher. The father of a pair of two-year-old boys died Sunday night following a fight at an El Cajon mobile home park.

"If anyone knows anything, speak up. We need justice, we need closure," brother Richard Venegas said.

Sheriff's homicide investigators say Vanegas drove to the park to drop off his son to his ex-girlfriend, who allegedly confronted him about speeding through the property.

"By her account, he was trying to push her into the cab of his truck, and at that point she started to yell," Sheriff's Department Lt. Dennis Brugos said.

Brugos says moments later, Vanegas was then pulled away by off-duty Deptuy Luis Escobar Jr., who is Vanegas's ex-girlfriend's boyfriend.

"He grabbed him from behind and exactly where the position of his hands or arms were I can't say with any certainty, but they both actually fell backwards with the deputy falling first and Venegas on top of him," Brugos said.

Authorities say after the short altercation, Escobar asked his girlfriend's 16-year-old son, who was also allegedly involved in the incident, to call 911.

"(Venegas) kind of went limp and the deputy rolled him off of him, because at that time he was on top of the deputy, and when the deputies and fire personnel got there (Escobar) was checking him for a pulse," Brugos said.

Vanegas was pronounced dead about four hours later at the hospital. His exact cause of death is not being released because his autopsy report isn't final and has been sealed. In the meantime, one of his siblings is begging Escobar to come forward with an honest account of what transpired.

"Step up, be a man. We lost a loved one. He's no longer here, you are. You were there, you know what happened," Richard Vanegas said.

Sheriff's investigators say it's likely the autopsy report will be final within a week and then unsealed. At this point, Deputy Escobar's work status is currently under review by his commanders.

We're learning more about the man who died after a fight with an off-duty deputy and a teenager last Sunday.
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