SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — A 30-year-old San Diego man was behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of fatally shooting a Cathedral Catholic High School teacher on a North Park roadside, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Jesse Milton Alvarez was arrested without incident Monday night at a Serra Mesa home and was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder, San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said.
Patrol officers responding to reports of gunfire shortly after 7 a.m. Monday found 37-year-old Mario Ferrio mortally wounded on a sidewalk in the 4500 block of Kansas Street. The victim died at the scene.
Authorities have not disclosed a suspected motive for the slaying or the relationship, if any, between Alvarez and Fierro.
Brown said Monday that Fierro was shot after getting into some kind of dispute with his assailant, who drove off to the north in a small older-model vehicle following the gunfire.
Alvarez is being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Feb. 19, according to jail records.
Fierro was remembered as a leader at Cathedral Catholic High. Fierro graduated from University of San Diego High School in 2002 when it was located in Linda Vista. The school was renamed Cathedral Catholic when it moved north to its Carmel Valley campus in 2005. He went on to teach social science, starting in 2016, and also served as a football coach. Hundreds of people came out to St. Therese of Carmel Catholic Church Monday evening to remember him.
"Everyone in our school community mourns his loss," Diocese of San Diego spokesman Kevin Eckery said Monday. "Mario was young, vibrant and full of life. All of us loved him."
He said grief counseling would be available for students, faculty and staff. All classes, in person and online, were canceled until Thursday in honor of Fierro.
Late Monday afternoon, the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation announced the creation of a memorial fund to benefit Fierro's family. Donations may be made online here.
As of Tuesday morning, the fund had received over $32,000 of its $50,000 goal.