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Public Safety

Cathedral Catholic High School Teacher Fatally Shot; Suspect At Large

Police block Kansas Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego after a man was fatally shot, Feb. 1, 2021.
Matthew Bowler
Police block Kansas Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego after a man was fatally shot, Feb. 1, 2021.

A Cathedral Catholic High School teacher was fatally shot by an unidentified assailant Monday on a North Park roadside, San Diego police reported.

Patrol officers responding to reports of gunfire shortly after 7 a.m. found the victim mortally wounded on a sidewalk in the 4500 block of Kansas Street. He died at the scene.

This afternoon, the Diocese of San Diego identified the victim as schoolteacher Mario Fierro, 37.


"Everyone in our school community mourns his loss," Diocese spokesman Kevin Eckery said. "Mario was young, vibrant and full of life. All of us loved him."

Homicide detectives have learned that Fierro may have been shot after getting into some kind of dispute with another man, who drove off to the north in a small older-model vehicle following the gunfire in the neighborhood just west of Interstate 805 and south of Madison Avenue, according to police.

"It is early in the investigation, and little is known about the circumstances surrounding the man's death," Lt. Andra Brown said this afternoon.

Fierro was a 2002 graduate of the Carmel Valley secondary school where he went on to teach social science, starting in 2016.

"Obviously, this is a shock," Eckery said. "Out of respect to Mario's memory, all classes, in person and online, are canceled until Thursday. Parents who dropped off their students earlier today were asked to pick them up as soon as possible. Grief counseling will be available for students, faculty and staff."


Due to the unsolved homicide involving a CCHS instructor, administrators will provide additional security at the Del Mar Heights Road campus, and San Diego police have slated extra patrols in the area as a precaution, the diocese spokesman said.

Late Monday afternoon, the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation announced the creation of a memorial fund to benefit Fierro's family. Donations may be made online here.

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