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Oceanside pre-school teacher Chelsea Pacheco was shot and killed while riding in a car. Photo via Facebook/Chelsea Pacheco
Oceanside pre-school teacher Chelsea Pacheco was shot and killed while riding in a car. Photo via Facebook/Chelsea Pacheco
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Man sentenced 89 years to life for Oceanside shooting that killed teacher

VISTA — A man convicted of opening fire on a car in Oceanside, leaving a young teacher dead, was sentenced today to 89 years to life in state prison.

Vicente Huerta, 26, was convicted of firing at an occupied vehicle, as well as firearm and gang-related allegations, in connection with the June 4, 2022, shooting that killed 22-year-old Chelsea Pacheco.

Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on a murder charge in connection with Pacheco’s death, but a retrial on that count remains scheduled for February.

According to Oceanside police, Pacheco and others were in a car at about 11:30 a.m. when the driver got into an argument with Huerta, who was a pedestrian near the intersection of Grant and Division streets.

Huerta opened fire as the car drove off, police said.

Pacheco, who was sitting in the backseat, was shot. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Huerta was arrested in Mexico about two months later.

Colleagues said Pacheco was a teacher at KinderCare in Oceanside, known affectionately to students as “Ms. Chelsea.” A GoFundMe page created last year by one of her co-workers described Pacheco as “a beloved teacher” and “the sweetest, most lovable person you could ever meet with a big heart. She had so much love for each student and family she came across at the school. She always came to work with a bright smile on her face, ready to spread joy and laughter throughout the school.”

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