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Man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting outside San Diego library

A view of the San Diego Central Library in the East Village, June 1, 2014.
Michael Schuerman
A view of the San Diego Central Library in the East Village, June 1, 2014.

A man who allegedly shot two men in front of San Diego Central Library, killing one of them, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and attempted murder charges.

Kenneth Chaney, 21, is accused in last Tuesday's shooting death of 20-year-old Trey Walker. The gunfire also left a 24-year-old man wounded, according to police.

During Chaney's arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said the dispute that led to the shooting stemmed from the theft of a backpack.


"In this case, a stolen backpack ended in the execution of one victim and another victim being struck twice from the defendant's gunfire," the prosecutor said in court as part of her argument to hold Chaney in custody without bail.

Nikoletich alleged that after Chaney's friend stole a person's backpack, the owner chased down Chaney and his friend.

Chaney then pointed a gun at the backpack's owner, according to the prosecutor, who said Chaney is also facing an assault with a semi-automatic firearm charge stemming from the interaction.

Chaney allegedly told the backpack owner to go to the library, where his friend had the backpack. Once outside the library, "a verbal confrontation" occurred and Chaney allegedly shot the two victims. Nikoletich said Walker was shot once in the neck and the other man was shot as he was running from the gunfire.

The prosecutor said it's believed the two victims were trying to assist the backpack's owner in retrieving his property.


Chaney was arrested two days later in the area of University Avenue and state Route 15 in City Heights, according to San Diego police.

Nikoletich said Chaney's identification as the suspect and his arrest were aided by "the help of the community, store owners, as well as MTS."

A GoFundMe page created to assist Walker's family said he leaves behind a 10-month old daughter and is also survived by his mother, father, three sisters, cousins, a niece and more.

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