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A fatal stabbing in Lincoln Park Friday night put San Diego’s citywide murder tally above last year’s total — with five months still to go.

As I explained in this story last week, the number of murders has returned this year to previous levels, especially in southeastern San Diego neighborhoods like Lincoln Park where police acknowledge rising gang tensions, after falling to noteworthy lows last year.

Twenty-nine people were murdered in San Diego last year and now 30 so far this year.

Police say Friday’s incident began with a child. The victim and two women were dropping off a child at an apartment complex when a fight broke out between the child’s father and one of the victim’s friends. The fight spilled into a parking lot and the victim, a 20-year-old man who police have not named, was fatally stabbed while sitting in his car. Police have not said the incident was gang-related.

Police suspect Julio Cesar Mendez, a 21-year-old man who also goes by Julio Cesar Vargas, and a 21-year-old woman were involved in the stabbing. Police urge anyone with information about them to call detectives at 619.531.2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888.580.8477.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for He writes about public safety and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter @keegankyle and Facebook.

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