Homie arrived at the party on Barsby Street about 11 p.m. He lived nearby so he walked with friends. It was cold that Friday night, January 26, 2018, almost freezing, which is unusual in San Diego County and especially in Vista.
There were already about a hundred people there when Homie and his pals arrived. “Homie” is an alias, because he was a witness who testified five months later.
Twenty-one-year-old Homie learned about the house party through social media, and a Snapchat announcement did mention a fee: LADIES FREE UNTIL 10:30. BROS $5.
However, when attorneys questioned him later, Homie said he did not know what the fee was to get in the party. “I don’t know, I didn’t pay. I just showed up.” No, it was not because he knew the homeowner. “Just walked in.”
One attorney asked if Homie was exempt from paying because the party was located “in his neighborhood.” He answered, “Sure.” Homie was asked if he was a member of the Vista Home Boys, the gang which claims that area.
In the witness box, Homie denied he was a member of any gang. He explained, “I have association.”
What does that mean?
“That’s like pretty much my family, I live in the hood. Yeah, that’s my neighborhood, right there.”
He does have a neighborhood nickname but that is “Just for messaging, not for Vista Home Boys.”
Homie believed the man at the party who was collecting money “was a Samoan, he was a Deep Valley, a Blood.” Homie said he learned this through friends. Although he did wonder aloud for a moment, because that man was not wearing red. An attorney asked, to be clear, “the party was hosted by a Deep Valley Blood?”
Homie replied, “I guess he was hosting. 'Cause he was charging at the door. I mean, I didn’t pay anything.”
Homie said he was at the party for two or three hours. Yes, he was drinking, he said he had two Victorias, a brand of beer. Was he drunk? “A little buzz, but I wouldn’t say faded faded.”
That was about the time Homie noticed one partygoer. “There was one guy who was drunk and he was kinda being rowdy. Like center-of-attention kind of stuff. More like being loud.” Homie recalled, “That was like towards the end, at 1 or 2 in the morning.”
The two men bumped into each other. “Cause I went to the bathroom, but the bathroom was packed, so I was going to the back. That was when I bumped him. Actually, it was him that bumped into me.” The rowdy guy turned around. “He was blaming me, but he was the one who bumped into me.”
“He told me, ‘What’s up?” and he’s like, ‘Let’s handle this.’”
“He threw up his Bs.” Homie demonstrated for the courtroom, in the witness box, he made the letter B with the fingers of one hand. The prosecutor asked him, “What do B’s mean?”
Homie said, “In my neighborhood it stands for Bloods, you know.”
“He was trying to take fight on me, trying to do something about the situation.” But Homie, who is tall and looks fit, said he did not take the challenge, “Actually, just kinda walked away.”
“His friends were just apologizing 'cause he was just kinda faded,” Homie told the court.“His friends were trying to calm him down.”
A different witness said the rowdy man pulled a gun from his waistband. And then his friends pushed him backwards, toward an open door nearby.
“That’s when he drew out his strap and started poppin’,” Homie testified.
Homie said the stranger pointed the weapon at him but his friends immediately grabbed his gun hand and arm and pushed the arm toward the ceiling while they continued to shove him through a doorway onto a patio, outside. And there was the sound of gunfire.
Homie ran through the house. “I saw a shot, like I said I wasn’t sticking around to see who got hit you know. When he took the first shot I pretty much ran to the right side, you know.”
Homie said he passed through the garage and made it to the driveway. “Pretty much when I was running he was emptying his clip.”
Multiple persons described the weapon as a revolver, which does not have a “clip,” but this seemed to be street slang for one load of ammunition.
Homie guessed he first heard four shots. He paused at the top of the driveway, near the garage, and looked around for his friends. “It was crowded. Like a concert. Can’t go through everybody, you know.”
He said he could see at one side the same rowdy guy, at that moment the gunman was seated on a low wall in front of the house, putting more ammunition into his revolver. “On the patio, he reloaded his thing, and that’s when he shot the other guy.”
The man who earlier had collected money from the partygoers was walking toward the man with the gun; the host started up a small flight of stairs there. “He was telling him, “Hey what are you trying to do at my party? Why are you trying to ruin the fun?”
The prosecutor sounded incredulous and asked if the host was speaking to the man who had just fired a gun. “Yeah, he was trying to regulate the party.” He spoke to the shooter? “He was telling him, ‘Why are you trying to ruin the party?’ Or something like that. Yeah, he was yelling.”
The man with the revolver “popped” the party host who approached him, according to Homie. Twice. He heard the shots. The host knew he was shot, immediately. “He was pretty much grabbing his shoulder and saying he got shot.”
“That’s when all his friends carried him out to the driveway.” People rushed to bring the wounded man to the top of the driveway, away from the side of the house where he was shot.
Homie said he did not notice what the shooter next did. “Once the other guy dropped, I pretty much paid attention to the guy who dropped.”
Homie became aware that a rumor raced through the party that he was the shooter, “Everyone was saying it was me,” so he made the unusual decision to stay and talk to deputies.
San Diego County sheriff’s deputy Eric Cottrell said he arrived at the house at 336 Barsby Street about 2 am on Saturday, January 27, 2018. “I observed many people running from the house. Some on foot, some were in cars, leaving very quickly.” The deputy walked up the long driveway, “Just kind of made my way through the crowd, up to the top of the driveway where I saw the victim.” The deputy saw, “A hole in the front and an exit wound out his back.”
About the same time, deputy Cody Roberts was in a patrol car accelerating towards Barsby Street. He and his partner heard a description of a suspect: “Black male in a pink shirt and blue jeans.” They were travelling south on Goodwin Street when the officers saw a man matching the description running towards them. “And I detained him,” deputy Roberts testified. The suspect was wearing a blue backpack; inside was a revolver.
That night, deputies took Homie to look at the suspect they detained, and Homie identified him as the shooter. Months later, in court, Homie again ID’d that man as the shooter. “He’s in his blues,” he told the court, because the defendant was wearing standard jail clothes in San Diego County.
Sheriff’s detective Dylan Haddad stated that during the booking process Henry Curtis Dominguez, 21, was “throwing up Bs.” Haddad said the revolver they found in his backpack was a .38 special. There were two spent casings in the gun’s cylinder plus six live rounds of ammo in the backpack.
The owner of the home at 336 Barsby Street told detective Haddad he had rented out the home through Airbnb for the night.
The gunshot victim was taken to Palomar Hospital. He survived and was in hospital eleven days. The 21-year-old victim did not make any statements to police, and left the hospital on February 6, prior to being officially discharged. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to clarify the status of the gunshot victim, and would not say if his whereabouts are known.
Dominguez has been held in lieu of $1 million bail since his arrest Saturday, January 27. He pleads not guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one charge of assault with a firearm. Prosecutor Laurie Hauf did attach gang allegations to the felony charges she first filed, but later she dropped them.
At the end of a preliminary hearing on June 27, 2018, honorable judge Richard Monroy ordered Dominguez to face all charges, and ordered him back to court on August 24 to confirm a trial date.