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Suspect Hunted in Oxnard Slaying : Crime: A 24-year-old is gunned down in living room of mother’s home. Victim’s father says the alleged assailant was his son’s best friend.

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A fatal shooting in an upscale Oxnard neighborhood near Channel Islands Harbor touched off a police search Wednesday for a 22-year-old man suspected of killing an acquaintance, authorities said.

Michael Wayne Mansir, 24, was found bleeding inside his mother’s two-story home at 2500 Peninsula Road about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Mansir had been shot several times in the upper body and died within an hour in the emergency room of St. John’s Regional Medical Center, authorities said.

Police are searching for Hector Garcia, 22, of Oxnard, identified by authorities as the prime suspect in the slaying. Police said they obtained a warrant for Garcia’s arrest based on statements from the victim’s brother and another man who saw Garcia just before the shooting.

“We’re going on what the witnesses are telling us, and that is that Hector is responsible,” said David Keith, spokesman for Oxnard Police.

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The victim’s father, Daniel Mansir, called Garcia and his son “best friends” and said Garcia had once lived in the same house on Peninsula Road.

According to police and witnesses, Garcia showed up at Mansir’s door, armed with a gun, just before 7 p.m. A friend of Mansir’s told police that he opened the door, saw Garcia with the gun and ran from the house.

Within seconds, Garcia walked into the living room and shot Michael Mansir several times, police said. Garcia then fled and was last seen running down Peninsula Road, Keith said.

Bill Pate, a family friend who was at the house Wednesday, said it looked like Mansir had been “laying on the floor, watching TV,” when he was shot.

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The victim’s older brother, Steven Mansir, was upstairs when his brother was shot. He called police and was at the residence when paramedics arrived, Keith said. No one else was home.

Police on Wednesday brought in a dog to help search for the gun in shrubbery along Peninsula Road and in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of Channel Islands Harbor. But no weapon was found in the neighborhood of houses lining canals that lead into the harbor.

And despite interviews with the victim’s brother and other acquaintances, police were without a clear motive late Wednesday, said Detective Mike Palmieri, who is handling the case.

“It’s a puzzle,” he said. “We pretty much know who did it, it’s just a matter of trying to piece together a number of things, including the motive.”

Garcia has been convicted of a number of misdemeanor crimes, including disobeying a police officer, driving with a suspended license, hit-and-run and drunken driving, court records show.

Michael Mansir was the youngest of six children. He attended Santa Clara High School for three years, and then transferred to Oxnard High and graduated in 1987.

Daniel Mansir, who separated from his wife in 1971, described his son as “a nice kid” and “the brightest of the bunch.” This fall, Mansir had been taking classes at Ventura College and was planning to major in math.

Yet, the father said, Michael seemed to stumble in life because of a tendency to get into fights and other trouble.

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In 1988, he was seriously stabbed in a melee at Knott’s Berry Farm. Another time, Mansir had his front teeth smashed by a tire iron during a brawl in Santa Barbara, the father said.

Court records show Michael Mansir was convicted three times for being under the influence of a controlled substance and once for petty theft.

Bill Thrasher, assistant principal at Oxnard High School, said he remembered interviewing Mansir when he transferred from Santa Clara High.

“He just seemed like a regular student,” the administrator said. “He didn’t bother anybody or anything like that.”

Neighbors on Peninsula Road in Leeward Estates said the violence was out of character for the quiet street. But they said police have had to quell a number of disturbances at the Mansir home.

A steady flow of visitors, and cars driving slowly past the house, also attracted the attention of residents, neighbors said.

“There was a constant stream of cars coming by, they would stay for five minutes or so and be on their way,” said Walter Simmons, 65, who lives across the street from the Mansirs.

Simmons and others said they had heard people yelling inside the house and on a few occasions seen people fighting in front of the house.

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Keith said Oxnard police officers have been called to the house repeatedly for disturbances and other complaints.


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