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Update: Teen Shooting Victim Identified

March began with the homicide of Nathan Connally at the Emerald Bay Apartments on the Soquel-Santa Cruz border.

Update: 3:52 p.m.: The Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office has identified the victim as , who was on the Santa Cruz Police most wanted list in July for possession of stolen property and was the subject of a manhunt that closed a neighborhood, according to this story in the San Jose Mercury News.

Detectives are pursuing several leads in the case and are interested in speaking to anyone who knew Connally. 

To contact the sheriff's office, call 831-454-2311, email  shf236@co.santa-cruz.ca.us or call the anonymous tip line at 831-454-284.

Update 10:59 a.m.: While the Sheriff's Department has not released the identity of the 19-year-old killed at the Emerald Bay Apartments on Soquel Drive Thursday morning, other details have come to light.

According to Lt. Craig Wilson, the victim was a resident of Santa Cruz County.

It is not yet known how many times he was shot, Wilson said, but that will be revealed upon medical examination.

Four areas surrounding the apartment complex were taped off for investigation. Section One, as Wilson called it, was on Dover Drive across the street from the apartments, where "a shooting took place," Wilson said. The second area was the roadway between Dover and the apartments, causing traffic to be backed up until the caution tape was removed around 8:30.

The third area to be taped off was the building's main parking lot, where the victim ran and knocked on a door for help. That area was released by 10 a.m. 

The final cordoned off space is in the interior of the complex near a playground.

"Some of the early information that we got is that someone associated with the victim or the event had been in that area," Wilson said.

The victim's body was removed from the scene between 9 and 9:30. A weapon has not been recovered, and no arrests have been made.

Wilson said it is still too early to deem the case gang-related, although the complex and neighborhood do have a history of gang activity. 

"We'll be looking at various possibilities," he said. "Gangs is one. Drugs is another. Revenge is another."

According to Wilson, the neighborhood and apartment complex are not nearly the hotbed for crime that they once were, when homicides, stabbings and shootings were not uncommon.

"Approximately 15 years ago, the complex was a major problem in the area for gang activity and drug sales. Through a concerted effort, that area was really turned around," he said. "I think it's too early to say that the apartment complex is returning to that sort of a situation. That remains to be seen but this is certainly disconcerting."  

Original Report: A 19-year-old man is dead Thursday morning after being shot at the Emerald Bay apartments near Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz Sheriff's Deputy April Skalland has told Patch.

At 2:32 a.m., the shooting victim stumbled to a residence on the 2500 block of Soquel Drive between Winkle Avenue and Stanley Avenue to retrieve help, Skalland said. He fell into the home and 911 was called.

By 2:52 a.m., dispatchers reported that he had stopped breathing. The victim died on the scene and the body has yet to be transported from the area.

There are no details available regarding where he was shot, or the motive behind the event. Skalland said it is unknown if the incident is gang-related. No arrests have been made.

Traffic was blocked in both directions on Soquel Drive from Winkle Avenue to Dover Avenue, causing "a lot of traffic issues," according to Skalland, but was opened again by 9:15 a.m. 

In an April, 2010 article, the Santa Cruz Sentinel noted that the apartment complex is in an area "known for gang problems in the mid-1990s." A murder-suicide also occurred in the neighborhood in Sept., 2010, although that incident was not gang-related.

Stay tuned to Patch as this story will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.

To keep up with every Patch story related to the homicide, click here.

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Maria Grusauskas March 01, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Too sad.
LockedOn Photograpy March 02, 2012 at 05:54 PM
WE ALL HAVE A PAST - IT'S NOT TO BE BLOWN UP IN ONE'S FACE WHEN THEY'VE BEEN MURDERED. HOW SAD TO HEAR THAT A YOUNG GENTLEMAN'S MURDER HAS BEEN OVERSHADOWED BY A PAST THAT PROBABLY HAUNTED HIM WHILE HE WAS ALIVE. LETS NOT FORGET THE POINT OF NEWS, IT IS NOT GOSSIP.
Jacob Bourne March 02, 2012 at 07:20 PM
This is a tragic case in which all factual details are important. Quite sad that this is the news to report, but we will continue to do so as this case unravels.
Willow March 03, 2012 at 01:22 AM
One must also remember that Nathan Conally has a family, who cares that he was murdered. 19 years old with a whole life ahead of him. Yes, he was guily of unlawful behavior, but who can say with absolute certainty that, had he been allowed to live, he would not have changed his life around? And does it matter now? A young man was murdered at 19, and his murderer is out there, probably known by others. Whether or not his past was the springboard for his murder is something the authorities will investigate.
Diamond marie markd March 06, 2012 at 01:23 AM
My heart and prayers go out to his mother who is a dear friend of mine. No matter what someone has done it is not mans right to take a life,the judge is god and who ever did this has to answer to god. Much love and respect to the fam. Love diamond

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