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Police ID man shot at Watsonville High Friday night

Modified: Monday, Feb 18th, 2013

A small shrine was set up in the Watsonville High School parking lot where a man was shot Friday night. (Photo by Paul Dunlap/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE An 18-year-old man was shot at Watsonville High School Friday night and later pronounced dead at Watsonville Community Hospital, Watsonville Police said.

He was shot just before 8 p.m. between the tennis courts and parking lot at 250 E. Beach St., police said.

The victim was identified Saturday afternoon as Marco Ortega. He was not a Watsonville High student and was known to be "loosely affiliated" with gangs, Watsonville Police Sgt. Eric Taylor said.

It was later found that he had been shot multiple times in the upper body, according to Watsonville Police Sgt. Mike McKinley.

Officers determined that he had been in the parking lot when he was confronted by several males, who shot Ortega before fleeing the scene, McKinley said.

A shrine was set up on the curb in the parking lot at the school over the weekend. The vase of flowers was near a trash can where remnants of crime scene tape was still evident.

At the hospital Friday night, Taylor said officers "got a statement before (Ortega) went into surgery."

The campus was busy Friday night, with a wrestling match, a soccer game and a dance.

Watsonville Police Sgt. Henry Robles said Ortega was taken by friends to Watsonville Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Watsonville Police first learned about the shooting from hospital staff who called to report it.

No arrests have been made. It was the second homicide in Watsonville this year.

On Jan. 18, 18-year-old Marco Topete was shot multiple times on the 200 block of Second Street near Walker and pronounced dead at the scene.

Police ask anyone with information on the shooting to call investigations at 768-3352 or the anonymous tipline at 768-3544.

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