Pedestrian gunned down on Mount Hope street

Pedestrian gunned down on Mount Hope street (fox5sandiego.com / April 3, 2012)

SAN DIEGO -- An unidentified assailant in a sport-utility vehicle fatally shot a pedestrian in a Mount Hope-area neighborhood Tuesday.

The 52-year-old victim was walking in the 4100 block of F Street about 11 a.m. when he approached the white SUV, which was stopped in the roadway, according to San Diego police.

As the man neared the driver's side window, gunfire rang out, and he fell to the ground, SDPD Lt. Ernie Herbert said. The vehicle then sped out of the area to the east.

"Officers responded to the scene and found the victim laying in the street," said Herbert.

The victim died at the scene. His identity had not been released by police by early evening, Herbert said.

But friends and family identified him as Ydell Littleton.

"I don't know why anybody would want to hurt him," said his friend of nine years Mike Turner. "He's not a violent type of person. He was not a gang member, or none of that. Ydell was a true friend, man."

Shortly after the shooting, police received reports of a traffic accident in Otay Mesa involving a vehicle similar to the one the assailant had been in, Herbert said. According to witnesses, the SUV careened off a connector ramp at Palm Avenue and Interstate 805, veered across a patch of ice plant and lurched over a center divider.

The driver then jumped out of the disabled vehicle -- all four of its tires had been flattened in the crash -- and ran off. He was described as a thin man in his early to mid-20s, with short braided hair and wearing dark- colored clothing.

The motive for the slaying was unclear, Herbert said.