OCEANSIDE — Family and friends are grieving and a suspect remains at large for the shooting death of a beloved pre-school teacher in the Eastside Capistrano neighborhood earlier this month.
Just before noon on June 4, 22-year-old Chelsea Pacheco was riding in a car with some male friends when they became involved in an argument with a male pedestrian, according to police.
When they tried to drive away, the pedestrian, an Oceanside gang member identified as 25-year-old Vicente Huerta, shot at the vehicle. One of the rounds went through the rear of the car and struck Pacheco.
Police officers responded to a medical aid call for Pacheco at the intersection of Bush and Archer streets around 11:44 a.m. Law enforcement officers provided emergency aid to the victim until medics arrived to transport Pacheco to Tri-City Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Known as Ms. Chelsea by her colleagues and students at KinderCare in Oceanside, nearly everyone around her treasured the young daycare teacher. Pacheco is remembered as always having a smile on her face and loving every student and family she reached as a teacher.
Pacheco’s coworkers even set up a fundraiser to help Pacheco’s family raise funds to pay for funeral expenses, where they so far raised just over $20,000, almost reaching their goal of $25,000.
“If you know her, she was the sweetest, most lovable person you could ever meet with a big heart,” said coworker Melissa Ruiz on the GoFundMe website. “No one who met her could forget her smile. Her love and kindness were infused in everything she did for the kids.”
Cynthia Cyncar, Pacheco’s mother, said her daughter was full of life, which helped her to create many unique relationships with the people around her.
“She was always true to herself and genuine, which led her to have multiple friendships,” Cyncar said in a Facebook post following her daughter’s death earlier this month. “My princess was energetic, positive, and full of love.”
Pacheco’s viewing and funeral are on June 28 and 29 at Eternal Hills Cemetery in Oceanside.
“She will be deeply missed, forever loved and never forgotten,” Ruiz said.
Huerta, the suspected shooter, remains at large. Police describe Huerta as a Hispanic male with a shaved head, approximately 6 feet 3 inches tall and between 200 and 230 pounds. Huerta has a tattoo over his right eyebrow and a large “3” tattoo on the top of his head.
Police ask that anyone with information on Huerta’s whereabouts contact Detective Dave Estrada at 760-435-4698.
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