Vigil Held for Navy Sailor Murdered in 2006 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Vigil Held for Navy Sailor Murdered in 2006

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A Navy sailor who was murdered in Golden Hill in 2006 was remembered Saturday as aout 15 friends and family members held a vigil to commemorate his life and highlight an increase in the reward for identifying his murderer.

Ronald Harnish, a decorated high school athlete who had just been accepted into the Navy SEAL program, was shot and killed on Dec. 27, 2006 in the 1100 block of 30th Street, one block north of Broadway and one mile east of the city's center.

Harnish and two other sailors were driving in their car around 10 p.m. that night when they got into a confrontation with two men who were standing on a sidewalk, according to San Diego police homicide Lt. Terry McManus.

Harnish died at the scene. The other man survived a gunshot to his arm.

Family and friends of the victim have increased a $1,000 reward in the case to $7,500.

Harnish was a decorated high school football player and was inducted into a Hall of Fame for his wrestling achievements at a high school in Lakewood, near Long Beach.

"He just inspired everyone to be what they could," said his mother,
Tracy Wild. "He made it look easy even though he knew it wasn't."

The loss of Ronald left "a big black" hole in her life, said Wild, a resident of the Northern California college town of Chico. The sailor's younger brother, who planned to come down to San Diego to be with him and attend college, refuses to discuss the case, she said.

Wild, who also had the support of parents and friends of other area murder victims at the vigil, offered a message for the killers.

"When you take good people like that out of the world, you're really hurting yourself," Wild said. "You need to come forward and say that you're sorry."

Police asked anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering $1,000 of the reward and the balance is offered by family and friends of Harnish.

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