Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Stabbing of Reporter in El Cajon

Police Monday night arrested a suspect in the slaying of Steve Petix, 31, a Daily Californian reporter who was stabbed to death Friday as he attempted to rescue his wife from an intruder who had attacked her in the couple’s El Cajon apartment.

El Cajon police Sgt. Ed Forbes identified the suspect as David Allan Weeding, 39, of Santee. Forbes said evidence found at the scene of the slaying led police to Weeding.

Forbes said police had Weeding under surveillance for some time before arresting him in the parking lot of a bar at Carlton Hills Boulevard and Mission Gorge Road in Santee.


Weeding was not armed and offered no resistance, Forbes said. Petix’s wife, Vicki, 23, told police that the attack had come shortly after she returned to the El Cajon apartment about midday Friday.

She said that, after calling her husband, who said he would be home for lunch about 1 p.m., she heard a knock at the door. When she answered she was confronted by a man dressed in work clothes who told her he had come to make repairs.

When she let the man in he attacked her, taking out a knife as he attempted to rip off her clothes and rape her, she told police.

While she was being attacked, Steve Petix arrived home and attempted to pull the man away from his wife. She fled into another apartment and called police.

When El Cajon police arrived they found Petix unconscious on the floor of his apartment. Attempts by paramedics to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Petix had been a reporter on the Daily Californian since 1982. Police were aided in their search for Weeding by a detailed description given by witnesses, who described him as 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds, with shoulder-length black hair and wearing a dark blue uniform shirt and pants.