Man pleads not guilty to murder in fatal Ocean Beach shooting

OnScene Photo
A man was fatally shot on the beach near lifeguard Tower 2 in Ocean Beach early Sept. 15.

Thurs Loo John is accused in the Sept. 15 slaying of 58-year-old James Chase.


A 19-year-old man accused of gunning down another man earlier this month in Ocean Beach pleaded not guilty Sept. 29 to a murder charge.

Thurs Loo John is accused in the Sept. 15 slaying of James Chase, 58. In addition to the murder charge, John faces an allegation of using a semiautomatic handgun in the killing.

Bail was set at $1 million at John’s arraignment. He is due back in court Nov. 3 for a status conference.

According to San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown, officers responded just after 1 a.m. to reports that a man had been shot on the beach near lifeguard Tower 2 at Abbott Street and Santa Monica Avenue.

Chase was found unconscious and mortally wounded on the sand, according to Brown. Chase died at the scene.

Police came across John four days later in connection with a fight described as a “violent altercation” near Reno Drive and University Avenue in City Heights. Details on that scuffle were not disclosed, but Brown said an officer was passing by and intervened in the fight.

John was injured in the incident, and after being treated, he was arrested and booked into San Diego County Jail on suspicion of murdering Chase. Police have not disclosed what led them to identify John as a suspect.

A possible motive for the shooting also has not been disclosed, and Brown said “it is unknown if the victim and suspect were acquainted.”


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