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Mario Fierro
Cathedral Catholic schoolteacher Mario Fierro was shot and killed on Monday evening in San Diego. Photo courtesy of Archdiocese of San Diego
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UPDATE: Man arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting Cathedral Catholic teacher

CARMEL VALLEY — A 30-year-old San Diego man was behind bars today on suspicion of fatally shooting a Cathedral Catholic High School teacher on a North Park roadside, police reported.

Jesse Milton Alvarez was arrested without incident Monday night at a Serra Mesa home and was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder, San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said.

Patrol officers responding to reports of gunfire shortly after 7 a.m. Monday found 37-year-old Mario Fierro mortally wounded on a sidewalk in the 4500 block of Kansas Street. The victim died at the scene.

Authorities have not disclosed a suspected motive for the slaying or the relationship, if any, between Alvarez and Fierro.

Brown said Monday that Fierro was shot after getting into some kind of dispute with his assailant, who drove off to the north in a small older-model vehicle following the gunfire.

Alvarez is being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Feb. 19, according to jail records.

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

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

He said grief counseling would be available for students, faculty and staff. All classes, in person and online, were canceled until Thursday in honor of Fierro.

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 at https://www.classy.org/campaign/coach fierro/c324198.

As of Tuesday morning, the fund had received $31,049 of its $50,000 goal.

Cathedral Catholic HS teacher fatally shot 

(Original article published earlier Feb. 2)

CARMEL VALLEY — A Cathedral Catholic High School teacher was fatally shot by an unidentified assailant Monday evening 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, and also served as a football coach.

“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 this afternoon, the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation announced the creation of a memorial fund to benefit Fierro’s family. Donations may be made online at https://www.classy.org/campaign/coach-fierro/c324198.

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