Skip to content

Judge sentenced a 19 year-old man to six years in prison for a fatal shooting in Imperial Beach last year

Johnathan Reibeling pleaded guilty earlier this year to voluntary manslaughter and a gun-use allegation in connection with the April 10, 2020, shooting death of 18-year-old Diego Rodriguez.
judge stock image

A 19-year-old man was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in state prison for fatally shooting a man last year in Imperial Beach. 

Johnathan Reibeling pleaded guilty earlier this year to voluntary manslaughter and a gun-use allegation in connection with the April 10, 2020, shooting death of 18-year-old Diego Rodriguez. In a statement to the court, Reibeling described the shooting as "a horrible accident," and said Rodriguez was his "best friend."

Several members of the victim’s family didn’t believe the shooting was accidental or a negligent discharge. San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Popkins said a probation report disclosed that the police investigation into the killing yielded no discernable motive as to why Reibeling would intentionally kill Rodriguez.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Unit, Rodriguez was shot in the head and dropped off by Reibeling about 12:45 a.m. at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista. Rodriguez was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. 

The shooting took place at a home in the 400 block of Seventh Street in Imperial Beach, police said.

Reibeling, who turns 20 on Thursday, faced a murder charge in the case prior to his plea in October.