One man was killed and another was wounded Thursday afternoon when they were attacked by two men while walking in a rugged canyon south of Hilltop Drive in Pauma Valley, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department detectives said.
Brian Chase, 29, of Vista, was found dead at the scene, the county coroner’s office reported, with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Chase’s companion, Timothy Andrew Groya, 21, of San Marcos, was taken by Life Flight helicopter to Palomar Hospital with a bullet wound to the neck and shoulder, said homicide Lt. Bill Baxter. Groya underwent surgery Thursday night and was listed in satisfactory condition Friday.
Homicide detectives have no suspects in custody, Baxter said, but they do have vague descriptions of the two attackers. The motive for the shootings is not clear, but several marijuana plants and a shotgun were discovered nearby in the rugged canyon.
According to sheriff’s reports, deputies were called to the area about 4 p.m. Thursday after a resident heard gunshots and cries for help. Deputies found Groya and Chase lying wounded on the ground.
The two men had been walking through the canyon when they encountered two men who opened fire on them, Baxter said.
Homicide detectives have not linked the marijuana plants to the shootings, but Baxter said it is “a possibility being explored.”
Baxter added that the canyon “is not an area that is a dedicated trail. It is not an area where someone would go for a walk.”