DR J’S: How A Gang Shooting Changed Southeast San Diego
Just after midnight on New Year's Eve, two women and two young children were on their way home from church. They stopped at Dr J's Liquor in Lincoln Park to buy a fireplace log.
A group of gang members pulled up and started shooting. Both women were killed. The 7-year-old was shot multiple times while he shielded the 2-year-old with his body. Remarkably, he survived.
This crime was so horrific that it made people pay more attention to what was going on in Southeast San Diego, a lower income and predominantly African-American pocket of the city.
If you walk the streets in the area today, people still talk about the shooting and the lasting impacts it had.
The People Affected
- Part 1: What Happened On New Year's Eve At Dr J's Liquor The crime was so perfectly horrific — two women on their way home from church, two kids in the back seat — that it made people pay more attention to Southeast San Diego, a lower income and predominantly African-American pocket of the city. Read Part 1 →
- Part 2: How Policing Changed After The Dr J's Liquor Store Shooting A gang shooting in Lincoln Park killed two women on their way home from church. After the shooting, some people said the police department flooded the streets with officers arresting everybody. Others became more willing to work with police.Read Part 2 →
- Part 3: The Families Of The Victims And The Man Convicted The shooting at Dr J's has had ripple effects throughout the community and the rest of the city. But it also impacted the people directly involved — the families of the women who were killed, and the family of the man who was eventually convicted of their murder.Read Part 3 →
- Part 4: The Gang Stigma When A Case Goes To Trial In the case against James Carter, the prosecutor used a common tactic when trying people from Southeast San Diego, especially young black men. He established a link between Carter and a gang, and then used that link to establish a motive.Read Part 4 →
- Part 5: The Use Of Informants In The Shooting At Dr J's Liquor After the shooting at Dr J's Liquor, police and prosecutors looked for informants who would trade information for reduced sentences and money to move away from San Diego. One informant in particular shows what a difficult decision that can be.Read Part 5 →
- Part 6: What's Next For The Community 16 Years After The Shooting More than 15 years after the Dr J's shooting, a lot of people are thinking about what's next. Southeast San Diego residents want the government and police to change. They want more local jobs and improvements like street lights and trash pick up.Read Part 6 →
To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.
© 2021 KPBS Public Broadcasting