Suspect ID’d in slaying of auto mechanic

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Authorities are asking the public for help in finding a man suspected of fatally shooting his former boss at the Point Loma auto repair shop the victim owned and operated.

Nicolas Rosales, 47, a former mechanic at Joe's Auto Repair on Rosecrans Street, allegedly shot 63-year-old Jalal “Joe” Abou to death at the garage about 7:30 a.m. April 19, according to San Diego police.

Officers responding to reports of gunfire arrived to find Abou lying in a parking lot at the business with several good Samaritans performing CPR on him. Paramedics took over the lifesaving attempt before pronouncing the Rancho San Diego resident dead at the scene.

Witnesses saw a man parked near the shop in a dark green sedan with primer spots on it before the shooting and driving away after the gunshots rang out, San Diego Police Department Lt. Kevin Rooney said.

This afternoon, detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Rosales with murder in the death of Abou, a native of Iraq and father of three. Rooney declined to disclose what led investigators to identify Rosales as the suspected killer.

Rosales left his job at the victim's business in October. Rooney declined to specify if Rosales quit or was fired, though he did say Rosales returned to the garage several times between the date of his termination and the slaying.

Rooney would not elaborate on the reasons for those visits or discuss anything that may have transpired during them.

Rosales, who is known to frequent the Tijuana area, may be driving a green 1997 Honda Accord, California license plate No. 5YRJ935, or a white 2000 Ford Explorer, California license plate No. 6NZN776, according to police. The suspect is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds and should be considered armed and dangerous, Rooney said.

Anyone with information on Rosales' whereabouts is urged to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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